Coronavirus

Second stimulus check: is White House moving for it to arrive soon?

With Democrats pushing for a second round of coronavirus stimulus payments, President Donald Trump said he is considering the option, as many states reopen their economies.

Second stimulus check: is White House moving for it to arrive soon?
NICHOLAS KAMM AFP

As of Friday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had given more than 152 million Americans the coronavirus stimulus payment of $1,200 to help those struggling with economic hardship during the pandemic, but roughly 20 million are still waiting to get help. The IRS is working on a number of different strategies to try and make this process as quickly and easy as possible, with one of their latest plans working on sending 4 million debit cards to those who don’t have banking information.

Democrats want second stimulus payments

Democrats are pressuring the Senate to approve the HEROES Act that, among a raft of other measures totalling over $3 trillion, will provide a second round of stimulus payments for millions of Americans amid the Covid-19 outbreak. The HEROES Act is not scheduled to be discussed in the Senate until 1 June. While the HEROES Act has passed the Democrat dominated House of Representatives, it still needs approval from the Republican led Senate, where there is fierce opposition to the measures.

Trump's view on a second stimulus check

While President Donald Trump said the HEROES Act was “dead on arrival,” on 23 May he has now given a positive answer in response to a question from reporters about a second round of stimulus checks during a visit to a factory in Michigan: "I think there will be a second payment to help Americans move on. We will give them money towards the end of the outbreak. Right now we are focusing on reopening the country,” said Trump.

The president made it clear that even though he is thinking about a second round of payments, the details are not currently under discussion and only when the time is right will he inform the media about the steps that will be taken. Crucially, Trump also said that if there is a second payment it will not be through the HEROES Act.

Trump’s economic advisor suggests another bill

Democrats and Republicans clearly have major differences over how to react to the continuing coronavirus emergency, but both political parties want to help Americans through the pandemic and the economic shocks it has caused. Even if the HEROES Act is not passed, then both parties will sit down to thrash out another bill that can command cross-party support.

According to White House economic adviser, Kevin Hassett, the next stimulus bill may in fact be coming sooner rather than later and that both parties have to discuss what that stimulus package will look like and when it will be passed. This comes as many states are already reopening their economies as president Trump suggested in April.