Stimulus check amount: How much money could a second payment bring? Here’s the status – CNET

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Would a second stimulus check bring more or less relief money than the first?
Sarah Tew/CNET
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Would a second stimulus check bring you more relief money than the first check, less or the same amount? That’s one of the questions Congress and the White House are starting to debate, if Congress decides to authorize another round of direct payments.

While we have a pretty good idea when another direct payment could come, we don’t yet know how the total monetary package would compare to the first stimulus check, which allocated up to $1,200 per person and $500 for each qualifying child. Although some leaders, including President Donald Trump, say they want a larger amount than the first time around, there are also suggestions it could be smaller. 

The fist step is for the House and Senate to agree to the size of the overall package, which could range from $1 trillion to $3 trillion, a huge difference. Then, Congress has to decide how much of that to allocate to individuals for another IRS payment, and work out who would qualify.

Read on for the different proposals for the size of the next stimulus check. This story updates often.

What will the size of a second stimulus check be?

Leaders in Washington have suggested a wide range of figures for qualifying individuals.

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.

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What if a second stimulus check is smaller than the first?

A second stimulus payment won’t be as much as the first, Kudlow said July 10. That aligns with statements from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who’s indicated that the next stimulus package will have a $1 trillion cap.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, has made her disagreement clear.

“A trillion dollars is … an interesting starting point, but it doesn’t come anywhere near,” Pelosi said July 9. “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] testingtracing, treatment,” she said. “What doesn’t measure up is, ‘Oh, it can only be a trillion dollars.'”

McConnell had previously stressed that the focus of another bill will be narrow and, if approved, will be the last coronavirus-related rescue package. Republican senators are focused on including incentives to bring people back to work. The final total is anything but decided.

cash funds running out of money change dollars wallet empty
cash funds running out of money change dollars wallet empty
The president said he supports another round of direct payments.
Sarah Tew/CNET

The White House wants a bigger second stimulus check

The president has, over the past several weeks, come out as a firm advocate of a second round of direct payment to Americans.

“I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats,” Trump said July 1, referring to the $1,200-per-person amount the Democrat-led House 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.

Kudlow echoed the president’s support, telling Fox Business this month, “Direct checks are probably going to be part of it, as far as the president is concerned right now.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also expressed support, telling reporters at a White House briefing, “We’re going to serious[ly] consider whether we’re going to put more payments and direct payments over. It worked very well.”

The Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell made the case for more stimulus money in prepared remarks before the House committee on Financial Services on June 30. “A full [economic] recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to re-engage in a broad range of activities,” Powell said. “The path forward will also depend on the policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery for as long as needed.”

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The Senate intends to weigh the benefits of a second check this month.

Could more Americans receive another direct payment?

The House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act on May 15. The bill, which has not passed the Senate and is not law, seeks larger payments for more family members, according to a fact sheet from the House Appropriations Committee (PDF). McConnell has already dismissed the bill, as has the president, who has called it DOA. Here are the broad outlines of the House bill:

  • Individuals: An eligible person could receive up to $1,200.
  • Children and dependents: Each dependent could qualify for a $1,200 payment.
  • Families: Households would qualify for a maximum payment of $6,000 total, capped at five family members at $1,200 apiece.
  • People who aren’t US citizens: Noncitizens who file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number would qualify for a payment.

The bill would also extend many federal benefits set to expire this month.

How long do we wait for a stimulus check decision?

The Senate has now returned to Washington and will have three weeks until Aug. 7 to pass another stimulus bill before a month-long recess.

If you’re still waiting for your first stimulus check, here are 10 possible reasons for a delay and what you can do if you think your payment is lost or has fallen through the cracks.

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