Stimulus check: when will a decision be made on a second payment?
The first round of stimulus check payments saw the US government pay out over $2 trillion in cash payments of up to $1,200 to Americans who qualify.
Over 130 million American citizens have received their stimulus check payments, according to the latest information released from the Internal Revenue Service, with the average amount totalling $1,700. To date, well over $200 billion in payments have been issued.
"We are working hard to continue delivering these payments to Americans who need them," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement. "The vast majority of payments have been delivered in record time, and millions more are on the way every week."
Second wave of checks?
Many are now asking if there will be a second round of stimulus checks in the current month with citizens claiming that $1,200 may not cover the expenses for people who have lost their jobs or have faced additional financial obstacles in the past weeks as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. And the White House is said to be analysing a new $5,000 payment proposal with a difference.
Sixty-two members of Congress have signed a letter in favour of recurring monthly payments, seeing them as the most efficient mechanism for “delivering economic relief to those most at-risk in this crisis.” Many Republicans, however, are not keen on this idea, with one referring to it as ‘radical socialism’ and so discussions continue to find a solution.
Two Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives Ro Khanna and Tim Ryan had hoped to push a bill for another round of relief checks called The Emergency Money for the People Act. The proposal involves a 2,000 dollar monthly payment to every American over the age of 16 for up to 12 months with The White House saying it wants to evaluate the economic impact of reopening before passing another large stimulus package.
HEROES Act passed by the House
On Friday 15 May, the House approved the $3 trillion relief package called the HEROES Act which includes a second round of stimulus checks but that now needs to be approved by the Senate - something president Donald Trump and other Republicans cannot see happening.
Discussions of the bill in the Senate are expected to take place after the Memorial Day weekend on 25 May. So voting will not take place until at least the end of this month and if the bill goes through, a package would not be in place until mid-June at the very earliest.