Coronavirus

Second stimulus check: could it be the last round of payment?

With some of the millions of payments still being dealt with from the first round, there are still debates raging on the level of a potential second and final payment.

Second stimulus check: could it be the last round of payment?

As part of the CARES Act, a $2.2-trillion relief bill passed in March, around $267 billion has been sent out in Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) via the IRS to help American citizens deal with the financial effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that has officially left the country in a recession, the National Bureau of Economic Research recently stated.

Despite unemployment levels falling slightly in May, a jobless rate of 13.3% nonetheless remains a whole 10% higher than it was in February, and several recent polls have shown that people in the US are clamoring for further financial support on top of the CARES Act EIPs, more commonly referred to as stimulus checks.

HEROES Act

The Democrat Party backed HEROES Act was pronounced ‘dead on arrival’ by many Republicans, including the president, and even one of its authors, Nancy Pelosi, alluded to the fact that it was a starting point for discussion. But it still appears that there is a huge divide between the two parties, with a $3 trillion package looking impossible to swallow for the GOP while their vision of no more than a third of that doesn’t feel enough for the Democrats.

Economic Impact Payment possible dates?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently stated said that discussion of a second stimulus check will be the last thing on the agenda and Senator John Thune predicted that any relief package would only pass in July.

On top of the packed agenda the Republican-controlled Senate will take a recess for a two-week 4th of July break, returning to work on 20 July. That would see any new bill to be approved not happening late July. If no decision is reached the senators have to be back in Washington for three weeks before traditional August recess, which this year starts on 8 August, according to the draft calendar.

If we get close to the August recess with no advance on proposals for a second stimulus check, it can be understood that the issue will be postponed until after the summer recess (the Senate reconvenes on 8 September). It's difficult to guess what the pandemic and the economy will look like at that point in time and whether there will be political drive to push for further aid packages to help struggling Americans with the economic fall out of Covid-19.

McConnell did add that if a new package is agreed it will likely be the last round of payments.