Last week, we provided an update on stimulus package negotiations between White House officials and congressional leaders. Now, additional details about these ongoing talks are shedding light upon a timetable for some of the benefits – including a second stimulus check.
The timing of a second stimulus check – which would benefit everyone from touring musicians to furloughed execs – remains uncertain. Negotiations between the White House, Senate Republicans, and the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reached something of an impasse late last week, even as Americans lost their federal unemployment checks.
Latest Updates: Second stimulus checks will probably not be delivered in August, thanks to a continued deadlock in Congress. Just last weekend, President Trump issued several emergency executive orders to keep federal unemployment insurance going, continue the moratorium on evictions, and offer other temporary relief to financially-strapped Americans. We’ll have more details as they emerge.
The Congressional disagreements – stemming broadly from the House’s desire to pass legislation worth about $3 trillion and the Republican-controlled Senate’s desire to keep the bill’s cost around $1 trillion – continued over the weekend.
This afternoon, however, an approximately two-hour-long meeting (once again involving Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer) was characterized as “productive” by Speaker Pelosi. At the time of this writing, Secretary Mnuchin and CoS Meadows hadn’t publicly commented on the conversation – though Meadows said yesterday that he was “not optimistic” that a deal would be reached in the near future.
Despite these disagreements over the $600-per-week unemployment benefit, liability protection for businesses and doctors, and more, it appears that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have concurred that the next relief package will include a second stimulus check. Under the Senate’s HEALS Act, this second stimulus check, like that distributed to non-dependents as part of the CARES Act, would be worth $1,200. In terms of differences between the initial stimulus check and a possible second edition, the HEALS Act would prevent federal, state, or private debt collectors from seizing the once-off compensation – except when a recipient is behind on child-support payments, it bears mentioning.
Individuals earning less than $75,000 and couples earning less than $150,000 will receive a $1,200 or $2,400 check, respectively, if the HEALS Act becomes law in its current form. (As congressional Democrats largely agree with the Republican-suggested stimulus-check provision, it will almost certainly reach the final version of the legislation – possibly in a higher amount.) Perhaps the most noteworthy change within the HEALS Act’s proposed second stimulus check is a $500-per-dependent bonus regardless of age. The CARES Act’s “dependent bonus” covered only persons age 17 and under, excluding college-age and senior dependents.
Given that the second stimulus check will be included in the next round of federal economic assistance – Speaker Pelosi opposes drafting and passing bills for individual elements of the overarching package – eligible recipients probably won’t begin receiving their compensation until two or so weeks after an all-encompassing deal is struck. In this vein, the coming days’ conversations between the White House and congressional leaders will directly impact the timetable for the rollout of a possible second stimulus check.
More as this develops.