Now that the issue-prone rollout of the first round of stimulus checks has started to near the completion, there's been renewed conversation on how to fast-track a possible second round of payments. Part of the $2 trillion CARES Act, the initial payout afforded $1,200 to every U.S. citizen under a certain income threshold, plus $500 for each dependent.
In numerous cases, the first round of payments ended up delayed, deposited into the wrong accounts, were often unable to be tracked and even arrived addressed to dead recipients. However, they ultimately provided significant relief for the millions of people across the country who've had their lives upended by the coronavirus pandemic, and while there's been bipartisan support, there's been little agreement on how to approach it.
The House of Representatives did put forth a handful of different bills and did manage to pass The HEROES Act in May, which would afford another one-time $1,200 payment, plus $1,200 for dependents. However, the bill has been dormant in the Senate and widely reported that it has a next-to-zero chance of actually making it out of the GOP-led body — let alone signed by President Donald Trump. Instead, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has insisted the Senate will craft its own solution.
Despite the apparent deadlock in Congress, there have been a few indicators that point out what a second stimulus could entail. More importantly, a possible timeline for it, as well.
The Senate Recess
The conversation around a second stimulus package started off with the Senate indicating it would become a priority in July. Just after they'd reconvened following their 4th of July holiday. In a press conference on June 30, McConnell revealed that the focus of the second round would be "kids, jobs, and health care."prevnext
Rep. Omar's Criticism
On Wednesday, Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar pointed out that rent was due for millions of Americans who'd either lost their job or were otherwise strained financially due to the pandemic. In a tweet, Omar called the delay "shameful" in a time of crisis. "The government gave ONE stimulus check over two months ago while we face the worst economic and health crisis we have ever seen," she wrote, referring to the first (and only) stimulus payment rolled out so far.prevnext
Trump's 'Larger' Promise
Trump also started advocating for a "larger" stimulus check on Wednesday, seemingly wanting to outdo the $1,200 CARES Act payment. Speaking with Fox News, the president said "I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats, but it's got to be done properly."
"I want the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it," he continued. "I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion." He also said that the next stimulus package should create a "great incentive to work," referring to the extra $600 in unemployment benefits that also came bundled with the $2 trillion recovery bill.prevnext
Trump's newfound support for a bigger and better second round of stimulus checks have taken some Congressional Democrats by surprise, with reports that they're "genuinely confused" as to why he hasn't pushed the Senate to vote on the HEROES Act.
According to The Washington Post's Jeff Stein, Trump supposedly told aides he is in support of a second stimulus package, though several conservative White House officials are opposed to the idea. Essentially this means it's entirely unclear whether Trump and his administration will actually come around to supporting one of the any of the stimulus packages currently proposed.prevnext
Mark Meadows' Promise
Confusion among the Democrats aside, Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that Trump has been "very clear that he's supportive of another stimulus check," at a press conference on Monday. Meadows added that other "critical components" must also be factored into the next relief package, including payroll tax cuts and incentives for manufacturing to return to the United States from overseas. Meadows added that they "want to make sure that we're addressing things in a real, systemic way, whether that is making sure that the take-home check for every American is greater with a payroll tax deduction, whether it's making sure that we provide incentives for American manufacturing to be brought back from abroad."prevnext
The Possibility of August
Once Congress reconvenes on July 20, there is some hope that Democrats and Republicans could come to a compromise, which could mean that payments could begin making their way to the American people in August. Following their return, Congress will have 15 days before entering another recess from Aug. 10 until Sept. 7. This could mean that lawmakers will most likely make a push to conclude negotiations and pass another relief package within the first week of August.prev