Second stimulus check: what is known about the July payment?
The second stimulus check has been in the works now for months and it is finally starting to come into view as Democrats and Republicans sit down to discuss it.
A second stimulus payment agreement seems to be drawing closer. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky's Republican Senator, and Donald Trump, who wants another stimulus check, have both spoken publicly about the potential for a second check and the message, in general, is a positive one for struggling Americans in recent weeks.
The problem is that while McConnell and Trump have been more optimistic recently, a July payment is not likely although not impossible. A deal could be struck as early as 20 July with the Senate returning after a 17-day recess. That is when negotiations will really ramp up. Once an agreement is reached, given the crisis the United States finds itself in, payments could begin very soon afterwards.
The U.S. Senate will begin debate next week on a fifth coronavirus-response bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed on Monday after weeks of kicking the can down the road. 'Next week, we'll be beginning a new bill,' McConnell said during an interview with WRVK radio in his home state of Kentucky. He sees tough negotiations in the next couple of weeks but he is the same man who commented on the possibility for a second stimulus check last week.
"I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less. Many of them work in the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry, as all of you know, just got rim-racked - hotels, restaurants - and so (more stimulus checks) could be part of it," McConnell said. "The country needs one last boost."
When could the second stimulus payment be agreed?
Americans in need of a quick injection of cash might feel optimistic about the news but it will take a while before anything is agreed upon. The Democrats will fight their corner and Republicans theirs with the stimulus check being one of the key talking points in the Senate.
Both sides have come to the conclusion that a 'boost' is needed for the most vulnerable. But what that 'boost' will look like is another thing. We have discussed the changes to the first and second stimulus check in more detail here but one of the main points is who should get the money remains to be seen.
'I do think we'll get there and do something that needs to be done' before Congress begins an August recess, the Republican senator predicted. There has been some conflict among Republicans - in the White House and in Congress - over the precise direction of the upcoming bill.
The 7 August remains a key date for when we know more and with rows over certain topics set to be defended until the end, you can expect politicians to wait for as long as they can before coming to an agreement.