The Aug. 7 deadline Congress set to reach a new deal on another coronavirus relief package came and went without the White House and Democratic leaders coming to any agreement. While President Donald Trump is planning to sign executive orders to unilaterally extend other benefit programs without Congress, none of these address the long-awaited and hoped-for second stimulus check. Since no deal was reached, it will take even longer for a stimulus check to happen.
Congress set a deadline for Friday since the Senate was originally scheduled to begin an August recess. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said senators will be allowed to go home, but the Senate is technically staying in session. "I will not be adjourning the Senate for our August recess today as has been previously scheduled," McConnell said in the Senate, reports The Hill. "I've told Republican senators they'll have a 24-hour notice before a vote, but the Senate will be convening on Monday and I'll be right here in Washington."
While there have been proposals to continue stimulus checks from both sides of the political aisle, none of these have been passed. There still has not been another stimulus check approved since the CARES Act was signed in March. The economic impact payments were first mailed out in mid-April. Individual Americans who filed their 2018 or 2019 taxes and earned $75,000 or less were eligible for $1,200. Individuals who earned between $75,000 and $99,000 were also eligible for smaller checks, although anyone who made over $99,000 was not eligible. Couples making $150,000 or less were eligible for $2,400 and dependents under 17 were eligible for $500.
After several mishaps, from sending out checks to deceased Americans to not including the payments for dependents, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the IRS would be ready to send out the payments quicker this time. Mnuchin said the IRS could "start printing" checks "the following week" it Trump signs another relief package. "I could have them out immediately," he added, reports Forbes.
Once Congress finalizes a deal, the House and Senate will still have to vote on it. Then, it will be sent to Trump's desk for a signature, and at that point, it will become law. If the Senate passes a stimulus package on Aug. 12, the House would vote on it the following day and Trump could sign it by Aug. 14. Based on Mnuchin's comment, the check could be out by the week of Aug. 17 on that timeline. If the Senate does not pass the package until Aug. 14, the check would not be sent until the week of Aug. 12.
There is one big caveat here though. Both sides do not seem close to a deal at all. Democrats have sought a bigger package than McConnell's $1 trillion HEALS Act, but the White House rejected their $2 trillion proposals on Friday. They have argued the bill needs almost $1 trillion to help states and local governments during the pandemic, but Trump accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of only being "interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states," which he tweeted had "nothing to do with the China Virus."