Second Stimulus Check: Why July 20 and August 7 Matter When Tracking the Next Payment

Almost 160 million stimulus checks approved under the CARES Act have already been distributed to Americans across the country, but with coronavirus cases surging and the economy still in the early stages of recovery, many need a second round of payments. Although details regarding what the next stimulus payment could look like, including details of a possible second round of economic impact payments, there are two dates that are known to be key factors in passing further legislation: Monday, July 20 and Friday, Aug. 7.

These two dates represent key moments in the congressional schedule, signaling a timeframe for which another relief package, likely the last, could be passed. As CNET reports, Congress is currently on a previously scheduled recess. That recess began following the July 4 holiday and ended July 13. This means there are now no negotiations taking place on Capitol Hill regarding a stimulus package. Such talks are expected to begin when Congress reconvenes on July 20.

During this two-week-long break, members of the Senate are believed to be collecting and looking over the necessary information to determine the details of the next relief package. This information includes things such as the current standing of the economy, namely the June jobs report, as well as the current number of coronavirus cases, which have caused some cities to walk back their phased reopenings.

Upon their return on July 20, Americans can likely expect "a flurry of activity, additional proposals, and many headlines on negotiating stances." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said his office has been working on a proposal for several weeks with Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, something that he will discuss with both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate later this month.

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After returning to Capitol Hill, Congress will have 15 days before entering another recess that will last from Aug. 10 until Sept. 7. This means that they will likely make a push to pass any legislation by Aug. 7, their last scheduled workday. McConnell has said that the Senate will not work through the planned recess, meaning that if a stimulus package is not passed on or by Aug. 7, a new bill would not be passed until or after Sept. 8.

Although an exact timeline is unclear, it is possible that a stimulus package passed in late July or early August could result in stimulus payments being distributed as early as August. After the CARES Act was passed on March 27, the first stimulus checks under the bill began being distributed on April 15, meaning that there was a 17-day period from when it was approved and when payments were first sent. Should another relief package follow this timeline, further stimulus checks would be sent before Sept. 1.