$1,200 Second Stimulus Checks Might Be Getting Mailed, After All

Photo Credit: Alexander Mils

President Trump announced yesterday that he’d instructed his team to end the months-long negotiations for a second stimulus package. Even so, a new round of $1,200 federal payments might be mailed after all.

Despite both sides having agreed to distribute second stimulus checks, negotiations have stalled around broader stimulus details and amounts. In brief, Democrats have pushed for a bill worth over $2 trillion, while White House officials have set forth a $1.6 trillion compromise. Last week appeared to bring some progress, but yesterday, President Trump ordered his representatives “to stop negotiating until after the election,” which is just 27 days away.

Trump cited Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s “not negotiating in good faith” as his reason for concluding the talks on a second stimulus package. Additionally, the chief executive pledged to pass a “major stimulus bill” immediately after Election Day.

Then, shortly following this pivot, the President made clear in a tweet that he’s willing to sign a piece of legislation solely for the $1,200 second stimulus checks.

“If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” Trump tweeted yesterday evening, before doubling down on the commitment this morning.

More broadly, the White House has signaled interest in a series of smaller-scale bills, including federal relief for businesses and airlines (besides the second stimulus checks).

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows have already started discussing these comparatively compact aid packages with Speaker Pelosi. The 80-year-old lawmaker’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, summarized today’s early-morning dialogue in a tweet.

“Speaker Pelosi & Secretary Mnuchin spoke by phone at 9:33 a.m,” wrote Hammill. “The Secretary inquired about a standalone airlines bill. The Speaker reminded him that Republicans blocked that bill on Friday & asked him to review the DeFazio bill [the Moving Forward Act, a $1.5 trillion, 2,300-page-long infrastructure package passed by the House] so that they could have an informed conversation.”

Significantly, the message makes no mention of the second stimulus checks themselves – possibly suggesting that a deal could be closed.

But at the time of this writing, neither Speaker Pelosi nor Treasury Secretary Mnuchin had publicly addressed their latest conversation.

In terms of qualifications, it looks like the previous eligibility requirements will still be in place.  For example, single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of under $99,000 would receive some payment, with those making under $75,000 collecting the full $1,200 amount.  Similarly, heads of households pulling less than $136,500 would also qualify for payments, with married couples topping out at $198,000.

As before, child dependents would receive a $500 spot payment, but this time, adult dependents may also merit a $500 extra payment.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of non-socially distanced concerts are still on ice due to coronavirus-related health concerns and lockdown measures. A recent survey revealed that most live music execs believe crowd-based entertainment’s full-scale return will arrive in 2021, and movie theaters and venues nationwide are now facing the prospect of shutting down. Consequently, more than a few musicians and behind-the-scenes professionals stand to benefit from second stimulus checks, and DMN has covered the corresponding talks in detail.

Of course, a broad swath of Americans are also hoping for another $1,200, simply to get through the month. Earlier, Trump used Executive Orders to continue federal unemployment checks (by $300-$400), while also extending eviction moratoriums.

More as this develops.

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