Stimulus Checks: How to Possibly Get a Second Payment Faster

Amidst ongoing negotiations, Congress has still not been able to come to an agreement concerning a stimulus package. Democrats and Republicans have been at odds regarding several different factors for the next stimulus plan. But, one thing that they seem to agree on is how Americans should receive another economic impact payment during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While they have not hammered out the details about this payment just yet, the amount will likely be around $1,200, akin to the payments that were sent out under the CARES Act. Even though they have still not reached a deal, there is one thing that can allow Americans to receive that payment even sooner.

According to Forbes, one measure that can reduce the time that it takes individuals to receive these payments can be implemented by the Federal Reserve. Aaron Klein, a Brookings Economics Studies Fellow, wrote in an op-ed in July that any checks from the Treasury Department must be available from the recipient's bank to the actual recipient "not later than the business day after the business day" on which the funds are deposited into the account. Given this fact, individuals could receive their payments in no more than two business days. However, this does not take into account holidays or weekends, which can extend that waiting period.

As Klein noted, some banks have given Americans access to their stimulus payments early, as they know that the funding is sound. But, of course, this has not been the case for every bank. "After all, a Treasury check is not going to bounce," Klein wrote. "Changing this one line [of the law] to 'immediately' would save people millions in bank overdrafts, check cashing fees, late fees, unnecessary payday loans, and countless other hardships and anxieties." While there is the possibility that Americans could receive their economic impact payments faster than before, there is still no telling when they will be able to receive these funds at all.

One of the most significant points of contention between Democrats and Republicans ties back to the total amount for the next stimulus package. Democrats have said that they would be open to implementing a $2 trillion plan. However, Republicans have said that that figure is too high, calling for a $1 trillion plan instead. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently said that Democrats would be willing to discuss further aspects of the next stimulus plan once the two sides can agree on the grand total. "I don't know. When they come in with $2 trillion," Pelosi said when asked about the timeline for the next stimulus package. "When they're ready to do that, we'll sit down. We're not inching away from their meager piecemeal proposal."