Second Stimulus Check: How Another COVID-19 Wave Could Affect Payments

Talk of a second stimulus check has gained renewed attention in recent weeks, with the Senate promising it will move swiftly on the matter. Although whatever happens, it's unlikely to be voting on the House-passed HEROES Act, and it definitely won't be until after they reconvene on July 20 after their holiday recess.

Given that the timeline of a second stimulus package is already sketchy, at best, there is the factor of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As Nasdaq points out, the recent spike in cases reported in multiple states across the U.S. could severely impact any payments on the potential horizon. In the first few days of July alone, there have been more than 50,000 new cases per day. Assuming this trend continues, there could create a ripple effect of far-reaching consequences. This situation means that newly reopened businesses could be forced to close their doors yet again, triggering another possible round of layoffs, a potential stock market crash which might worsen the recession.

Assuming these events come to pass, a second stimulus check could become critical to many people trying to stay afloat. If businesses do continue to shut down, Congress could put the proposed back-to-work bonus to the side and allocate that money toward another stimulus check instead. Particularly after more and more people are finding it harder to make the previous payment last.

Following the passing of the $2 trillion CARES Act in March, most U.S. citizens were given a one-time check of $1,200, plus $500 for each dependent. Discussion about a second stimulus package has been kicked around since then, with everything from Universal Basic Income to a payroll tax cut to back-to-work bonuses being tossed around as possible solutions. The HEROES Act would provide another $1,200 payment, plus $1,200 for dependents, assuming it would become law, which is increasingly unlikely.

Despite waffling on the issue in the past, President Donald Trump has started promising that a second payment would be coming soon, and boasted it would be "larger" than the previous package. "I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats, but it's got to be done properly," Trump said. "I want the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it. I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion."