Coronavirus

Second stimulus check: What are the obstacles to a second round of payments

South Dakota Republican Senator, John Thune, has said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was looking at July for the next package.

Second stimulus check: What are the obstacles to a second round of payments
Drew Angerer AFP

More than 150 million Americans have already received their payments under the first round of stimulus checks, while about 35 million are still waiting on the $1,200 funding amid the coronavirus pandemic. There have been talks about a second stimulus relief package but a decision won’t be made until late July as Republicans, Democrats and the White House try to agree on a bill.

House Democrats already approved the $3.3 million HEROES Act in May that, among other measures, will see a second round of payments to millions of Americans struggling during the pandemic. But Republicans want to keep the new bill under $1 trillion, while President Donald Trump has approved a proposal for a bill worth up to $2 trillion.

McConnell on second relief package

During an interview with Fox News, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there is a high likelihood of another relief package, but it won’t be worth $3 trillion and Republicans are supporting a bill similar to the CARES Act.

While there are several proposals on the table, the biggest obstacle right now in Congress is reaching an agreement between all parties involved and passing a bill that satisfies everyone. The latest proposal was Trump’s “Explore America” Tax Credit bill that would give Americans up to $4,000 for vacation expenses inside the U.S. until the end of 2021.

But there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel, with White House economic adviser, Kevin Hassett, telling The Wall Street Journal on 9 June that the odds of a “Phase Four” stimulus package are “very, very high.”