Coronavirus

Stimulus check: What is known so far about the second payment of $1,200?

The United States government has sent 159 million stimulus checks to Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic and many are asking if there will be a second round.

Stimulus check: What is known so far about the second payment of $1,200?
Kevin Lamarque REUTERS

The United States government has sent 159 million stimulus checks as part of the CARES Act to help Americans struggling in the coronavirus pandemic. There are roughly 30 to 35 million payments yet to be issued and many are asking if there will be a second round as the economy has been reopening across the nation.

The Democrats are in favor of giving Americans a second round of stimulus checks and the proof is that the House of Representatives approved the HEROES Act which among other measures it will give a second round of $1,200 per individual. Also, California senator Kamala Harris and other senators proposed a bill that will give a universal basic income to Americans throughout the pandemic.

The bill was proposed in May and consists of giving Americans a monthly payment of $2,000 to people making under $120,000, plus $2,000 per child for up to a maximum of three children. Now it is up to the Republican-controlled Senate to approve the bills proposed by the Democrats who insist that a single stimulus payment is not enough.

Where the discussion stands today about another round of stimulus payment

The United States president Donald Trump has said several times that he is in favour of a second round of relief payments amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which threw the economy into recession in February, but not just yet, “we’ll be asking for additional stimulus money,” Trump said on Friday when asked to give an update on the subject. “Because once we get this going, it’ll be far bigger and far better than we’ve ever seen in this country, that includes as of three of four months ago, when everyone thought it was great and it was great".

The problem is that House Democrats, Senate Republicans and the White House have different ideas on how to handle the second the second round of payments amid the outbreak and they are trying to come together with a single bill that everyone agrees on.

There is no set date to determine when they will find common ground to announce a second round of relief package, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Congress may take a few weeks. There has been a delay because of the protests over Floyd’s death so it is expected that after July they announce a new bill that may or may not include a second stimulus check.

The White House is working on a proposal

According to The Wall Street Journal the White House is already working on its own proposal for a second stimulus package and we could expect to hear about it as early as this week. The focus will be helping the economy that started reopening in May and it will have incentives for workers to find jobs and for people to spend money on their own.

The White House wants to reduce unemployment payments that currently is at $600 and will offer tax breaks for those who take a vacation in the US this year to encourage internal spending. Japan has taken a similar approach in encouraging domestic traveling.