As negotiations for a follow-up stimulus package continue, some lawmakers are pushing for a $2,000 second stimulus check.
Digital Music News has provided regular updates on the long-running discussions pertaining to a second stimulus package and, in turn, a second stimulus check. Most Americans who received a $1,200 stimulus check from the CARES Act have already spent the cash. And with lockdown restrictions still in place across much of the nation, many stand to benefit from a new round of federal aid.
The pandemic’s economic effects are particularly pronounced in the live event sphere, with most concerts and music festivals on ice. Consequently, a substantial number of musicians and behind-the-scenes professionals lack regular compensation. Plus, service workers in major cities including New York City, where indoor dining is shut down and the winter weather doesn’t allow for widespread outdoor seating, are in many instances without paychecks.
As of late, congressional leaders have made headlines for their bipartisan effort to come to an agreement on a follow-up economic-assistance package (and a second stimulus check, as an addition to the current framework).
Just as importantly, after months of fruitless talks, these legislators have suggested that they will reach a deal before the quick-approaching holiday recess. But it bears mentioning here that even if an agreement passes Congress before the recess, it’ll take a few weeks for the checks to be distributed, based upon the timetable associated with the first payment.
In terms of the amount of a potential second stimulus check, a group of 17 lawmakers recently sent a letter to congressional leaders, stating that the new relief bill should include “direct payments of at least $2,000 for all working individuals and families.” These representatives also proposed a six-month extension (or longer) to weekly federal unemployment compensation.
However, current evidence suggests that a possible second stimulus check passed as part of the bipartisan relief legislation will be worth closer to $600. Centrist lawmakers rolled out the $748 billion bill on Monday (in addition to a separate, $160 billion bill containing provisions that representatives have yet to agree upon).
The $748 billion compromise legislation didn’t initially encompass a second stimulus check, but Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has said that $500 to $1,200 checks may make their way into the final bill. If so, the payments would replace state and local aid, the lawmaker indicated. Senator Manchin also relayed his belief that the possible second stimulus check could be worth around $500 to $600, as mentioned.
Eligibility-wise, previous aid drafts point to the prospect of second stimulus checks having similar requirements as the first, with all non-dependent Americans over the age of 18 receiving a payment (and couples benefitting from a joint check). The exact amount will likely depend upon the recipient’s income, with individuals who take home above $75,000 receiving a smaller check; the compensation would phase-out entirely for those who earn $100,000 or more per year.
Given the last-minute negotiations, though, it’s unclear whether this proposed second stimulus check will include $500-per-dependent bonuses (as the CARES Act checks did).
More as this develops.