The $600 second stimulus checks allocated in the recently signed $2.3 trillion spending and relief package could increase to $2,000, depending upon whether a new bill passes in the Senate.
Owing to the far-reaching economic effects of the pandemic and its associated lockdown measures, a substantial number of Americans stand to benefit from second stimulus checks. Moreover, the music community – including both musicians and behind-the-scenes professionals – has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, due in large part to the unprecedented disruption brought about in the live music space.
Accordingly, DMN has provided regular updates on a second stimulus package (and, in turn, second stimulus checks) since negotiations began in earnest over the summer. After months of fruitless talks and ample deadlock, Congress approved a 5,593-page-long aid bill last week. Of the total $2.3 trillion in spending, $1.4 trillion will fund the government through September, while the remaining $900 billion or so covers once-off relief expenditures.
Aside from $600 second stimulus checks, the lengthy legislation encompasses capital for renewed $300 weekly federal unemployment, $15 billion for indie venues and theaters, and $284 billion in new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Lawmakers also slipped several provisions into the multi-thousand-page bill that are seemingly unrelated to the pandemic, such as the CASE Act and a felony streaming law.
Many Americans have criticized the $600 second stimulus checks, given that the CARES Act provided $1,200 payments earlier this year. Additionally, President Trump characterized the legislation as “disgraceful” and called on “Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000.”
Subsequently, Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated in a tweet that “Democrats are ready to bring this [$2,000 stimulus check legislation] to the Floor this week by unanimous consent.” Today, the House voted (275 to 134) to increase the second stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000.
At the time of this piece’s writing, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hadn’t publicly addressed the $2,000 stimulus check bill’s passing through the House – or shed light upon his plans for the legislation.
Eligibility-wise, the second stimulus checks have the same requirements as those allocated under the CARES Act. Americans who earned less than $75,000 during 2019, as well as couples who took home less than $150,000, will each receive full $600 payments. Plus, parents will receive $600 for their under-18 dependents – meaning that a family of two adults and two children would get a $2,400 check.
Worth noting, though, is that adults (including college students) listed as dependents in 2019 will not receive second stimulus checks, nor will those who declared over-18 dependents on their tax return last year benefit from a $600 bonus. In other words, a family of two adults and two college-age dependents would receive $1,200 in total.
Lastly, it appears that the second stimulus checks will quickly arrive in the bank accounts of those who submitted direct-deposit information for their 2018 or 2019 tax refunds. That said, it’s unclear whether recipients who disclosed their direct-deposit details for the last stimulus check will automatically receive this newest payment.