While some are still waiting for a $1,200 stimulus check from the federal government, attention has turned to the possibility of another round of stimulus payments as the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third month.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a coronavirus relief bill Friday that includes a second round of stimulus payments for American adults and dependent children.
While Senate Republicans have declared the House bill “dead on arrival,” most agree that another stimulus bill is likely, and it looks like it could be headed for a vote in the first weeks of June.
With Republicans unenthusiastic toward the House version of a stimulus package, how likely is a second round of stimulus payments to individuals?
A CNBC report on Thursday quoted two White House officials as saying President Donald Trump would probably support a second round of direct payments to American families. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Fox News, “I think there’s a high likelihood we’ll do another bill.”
The House HEROES Act calls for a federal payout of $1,200 for every adult and child (up to three children per family). That's up from $700 per child in the CARES Act stimulus package.
In addition, it proposes extending the $600 boost in unemployment payments and calls for $1 trillion for state and local governments, among other programs.
Some lawmakers say they are wary of the cost of the bill – around $3 trillion – and some of the proposals. Republicans are not keen on funding state and local governments. That will likely send it into a contentious round of negotiations to get a bill ready for a Senate vote.
What happened to the plan for $2,000-a-person stimulus checks?
While that was a proposal for a stimulus payment of $2,000 per person suggested for the HEROES Act, it did not make it into the House bill.
However, there is a proposed $2,000 monthly stimulus plan bill in the Senate, sponsored by Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Ed Markey, D-Mass. The plan calls for a $2,000-per-person monthly payment for each adult and child per family (up to three children).
The “Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act” would be retroactive from March and would continue for three months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the coronavirus emergency.
With the retroactive payment, a family of five would receive an initial check for $30,000, and then regular monthly payments would begin in July. The proposal would be subject to income limits, determined by the 2019 tax return, or 2018 return if a person has not yet filed the 2019 return.
The limits would be $200,000 for married filing jointly, $150,000 for heads of household and $100,000 for all other taxpayers.
What are the chances of that bill passing? The proposal is from two Democrats and an independent who caucuses with Democrats. And Republicans, who hold the majority in the Senate, have expressed little interest in setting up such a large expenditure.
But as unemployment soars -- since the middle of March, more than 36 million U.S. workers have filed for unemployment -- a lot is on the table.
The proposed next stimulus package comes after the passage of the $484 billion “Phase 3.5” spending package, the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that passed in late March, a $192 billion package of aid in mid-March and an $8 billion measure that was passed in early March.