A potential second round of stimulus checks has been a main topic of conversation among Americans ever since the CARES Act was passed in March. The $2 trillion stimulus package afforded most U.S. citizens with the first round of payments in April of $1,200, plus $500 for each qualifying dependent.
As helpful as that first payment was (for most, anyway), there's no real timetable as to when a second check could be signed off on by Congress and President Donald Trump, much less when those payments could make their way to bank accounts. Right now, the Senate is officially on a two-week recess through Friday and will resume on Monday. That gives lawmakers three weeks to debate and finalize a second stimulus bill before their next recess, which starts on Monday, Aug. 10, and is four weeks long. Should nothing come to fruition then, Americans wouldn't see any stimulus plan action until Congress reconvenes on Sept. 8. However, several lawmakers have stated that their goal is to pass a stimulus bill before this second recess.
Still, with millions of people across the U.S. dealing with a loss of wages or unemployment due to widespread shutdowns (and re-shutdowns), the question of a second stimulus check is a dire one. Here's a look at some of the most significant variables that could go into round two of payments.
When Will It Arrive?
Probably the most frustrating question is when will the long-promised second payment may arrive. The House has introduced a number of bills, and passed the HEROES Act in May, which has been dormant in the Senate since, and unlikely to pass when they reconvene on Monday. Although there has been some indication that it will be a priority, which could mean they would roll out in the fall. However, that's purely speculative at this point.prevnext
How Much Will It Be?
This has been one of the issues with the most conflicting information. While Trump has recently promised a "larger" payment than the CARES Act, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said those payments would be lower, partially because they'd be targeted more towards lower-income people. Kudlow added that the Trump administration hopes to keep this next stimulus package at $1 trillion or less.prevnext
Who Will Be Eligible?
Though the CARES Act dolled out millions of checks to individuals, not everyone was eligible for a payment. Namely, immigrants and citizens who'd married immigrants were excluded from receiving a one-time payment. A number of college-age students were also left out, as their status was in-between recipient and dependent. It's unclear if similar provisions would be in place for the second (and likely final) round.prevnext
Is There an Income Cap?
It is possible that the income threshold for a second payment will be much lower than the first. While the CARES Act capped income at $99,000 annually, McConnell recently indicated that the new cutoff would be closer to $40,000. "The people that I think have been hit the hardest during this whole episode have been people making $40,000 a year or less," McConnell explained. "Many of them work in the hospitality business, hotels, restaurants — we're going to be acutely aware of that particular segment of our population going into this next package that we'll be putting together in the next few weeks."prevnext
Will There Be a Recurring Payment?
One of the proposals that's been regularly floated is the idea of a recurring stimulus payment. Despite the success that other countries have seen with it, it's unlikely that something would become law in the U.S. Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a very vocal proponent of Universal Basic Income has supported the measure.prevnext
At this point, it's a full seven days before both the House and the Senate reconvene after the holiday. While they're in session, McConnell has insisted that a second payment will be a priority, and given that the body will go on recess again on August 10, it could suggest the process will be fast-tracked. Though there's no guarantee.prev