Stimulus Checks: When Enhanced Employment Benefits Could Resume

As negotiations over the next COVID-19 relief legislation continue, hope that the Congressional standstill could come to an end when a deal is reached by the end of the week emerged Wednesday as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin predicted the legislation could be passed as early as next week. Mnuchin told reporters, as per Forbes, that while Republicans and Democrats were "not at the point of being close to a deal," they had set a timeline to get the new relief measures in the works. by next week.

That being said, Mnuchin made it clear that "significant issues" still remain, telling reporters, "We're going to work around the clock the next few days to see if we can bridge the issues. Some issues we’ve been able to agree on, some significant issues are still open." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also weighed in, saying, "We agree that we want to have an agreement. And in that case, we then say, that’s our goal — lets engineer back from there as to what we have to do to get that done." Senator Chuck Schumer echoed, "They made some concessions, which we appreciated; we made some concessions, which they appreciated."

Included in the potential legislation will likely be a continuation of the $600 unemployment benefit, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell telling reporters Tuesday, "Wherever this thing settles between the President of the United States and his team that have to sign it into law and the Democrats, a not-insignificant minority in the Senate and majority in the House, is something I'm prepared to support, even if I have some problems with certain parts of it." Mnuchin added that he had proposed reviving the eviction moratorium through the end of the year. Another $1,200 stimulus check for eligible individuals is also likely, being that it was introduced by both the HEROES Act and HEALS Act.

Even when a proposal is introduced, it will need to be passed in both the Senate and the House, and approval by President Donald Trump, but Mnuchin said earlier this week that as soon as the stimulus package is signed into law, the second stimulus check could go out the following week. "I could have them out immediately. If I could get [the bill] passed tomorrow, I could start printing them the following week," he said. "I could get out 50 million payments really quickly."

The $600 unemployment benefit would be more complicated to resume after the benefit expired at the end of the month. These benefits will rely on state unemployment insurance systems being able to ramp up their own systems and reverse the changes they made, which a report by CNBC noted could "take weeks" depending on the state.