When the first stimulus check passed in March, it provided up to $1,200 in coronavirus relief payments per person. How much money a second stimulus check could contain is still up in the air, as US jobs continue to disappear for 16 straight weeks, taking a toll on the economy. Now, Washington lawmakers are growing closer to hammering out details for an additional stimulus bill to help American individuals and families.
Much of the debate so far has often centered on the question of if a new stimulus payment will happen in 2020, but there has been less public-facing discussion about how much money might be in the second stimulus check. The size of a new stimulus payment will depend in part on how big the entire rescue bill is, as well as how the funds are sliced up.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that the $1 trillion cap that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has for months set on the next stimulus package won't be enough.
"A trillion dollars is, OK, that's an interesting starting point, but it doesn't come anywhere near," Pelosi said Thursday. "We need $1 trillion for state and local [assistance]. We need another $1 trillion for unemployment insurance and direct payments. We need something like that, but probably not as much, for the [coronavirus] testing, tracing, treatment," Pelosi said. "What doesn't measure up is, oh, it can only be a trillion dollars."
For the last two months, proposals have surfaced over how big a second stimulus check should be, ranging from a single $1,200 payment up to $2,000 a month through the end of the pandemic.
Read on for what we're hearing from the Senate, House of Representative and the White House about the next relief check. And here's more information on when we think Washington will reach a decision and who might qualify for a second stimulus check if a new economic bill passes.
How much money would a second stimulus check get you?
Washington leaders are talking about these possible stimulus figures for individuals:
Nothing. Congress could focus its stimulus efforts on tax breaks for businesses as a way to boost US job numbers.
A $1,200 maximum single payment for individuals. Proposed by the Heroes Act passed by the House of Representatives. (This is not law. More below.)
More money for individuals than the Heroes Act proposes, as referenced by President Donald Trump on July 1.
A $2,000 monthly payment through the end of the pandemic and for three months after. Proposed by Sen. Kamala Harris.
$2,000 a month for up to 12 months. Proposed by Rep. Ro Khanna.
A $4,000 temporary travel tax credit (PDF). Proposed by the US Travel Association, after Trump embraced the idea in May. Sen. Martha McSally took the idea further and proposed a bill (PDF) that would give couples a $8,000 tax credit to cover travel expenses plus $500 for each qualifying child.
A payroll tax cut, proposed by Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials, that would allow workers to keep more of their paychecks.
These figures represent the maximum sum we've heard. As with the first stimulus check, it's almost certain that Congress will include eligibility restrictions based on how much money you make annually, your age, the number of dependents you have and your US citizenship or residency status.
What does President Trump and his administration say about a second stimulus check?
The president has, over the past few weeks, come out as a firm advocate of a second round of direct payment to Americans.
"I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats," the president said July 1, referring to the $1,200-per-person amount the Democrat-led House of Representatives proposed in May. The Washington Post reported in June that the president has told aides he is largely supportive of sending a second round of checks to Americans.
The Senate's view? Timing, smaller package, maybe no money at all
"I'll be unveiling something, which will be a starting place, in a few weeks," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said July 6 about a new stimulus package. And a new payment for individuals and families "could well be part of it," he added.
His Republican colleague Sen. Roy Blunt seconded the July timeline. "I think the [July] timing is going to be just about right for us to know what we need to know for a package that moves us into August, September and October," Blunt said June 30.
And while the Senate has not offered many specifics on what it will include in its proposal, McConnell has been clear what it won't. "I can't tell you what the amount is likely to be at this point, but it won't be $3 trillion," McConnell said late last month. He has previously stressed that the focus of another bill will be narrow and, if approved, will be the last. Republican senators are focused on including incentives to bring people back to work.
-Credit to CNET-