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Will be there a third stimulus check under Joe Biden?

With the $600 payments currently being distributed not expected to last long, many Americans are already wondering if there will be a third stimulus check under Joe Biden.

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Will be there a third stimulus check under Joe Biden?
JONATHAN ERNST REUTERS

Following long and arduous negotiations between Republican lawmakers over seven months, Congress finally passed a second coronavirus stimulus bill valued at $900bn before Christmas, which included a second round of much-needed stimulus checks that will be sent to tens of millions of eligible Americans.

The IRS has already begun to distribute the new round of direct payments, which, at $600, are just half the value of the first $1,200 checks that were sent out back in April. Last-ditch efforts to increase the payment from $600 to $2,000 under the CASH Act did not come to fruition as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeatedly objected to calls for a vote on the bill in the Senate in the run up to the new year after it had been swiftly passed by the lower House at Christmas.

With the $600 payments not expected to last long for those struggling with mortgage payments, rent, bills and other expenses amid the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans are now wondering if there will be a third stimulus check. Well, the answer fortunately is yes. When the administration of president-elect Joe Biden takes over later this month, a third stimulus check could be a real possibility.

Biden in favor of third stimulus checks

Biden was a strong supporter for a second round of $1,200 payments and has called the $600 checks currently being distributed by the IRS as a “down payment” before what people can expect once he assumes office.

The president-elect has already spoken of his plans for a new coronavirus stimulus bill and when asked if that package would include another round of stimulus checks, Biden replied “it will” but would not commit to figure. "Look, that's a negotiating issue,” he said.

Other measures, such as extended unemployment benefits and funds for state, local and tribal governments, are also on the table following the swearing in of the 117th Congress on Sunday.

Third stimulus checks: Georgia run-off election could be decisive

Whether or not Biden can get a new bill passed through Congress that would resemble what he wants, and whether that bill will include a third round of stimulus checks, could very much depend on the result of the Senate election run-off on Georgia this Tuesday.

Democrats have largely been in favor of spending more money on economic relief during the pandemic but have had most of their proposals shot down by the Republican-majority Senate. However, if the Democratic candidates Jon Ossof and Raphael Warnock can win their Senate run-off races in Georgia on Tuesday, the Democrats will take control of both the Lower and Upper House, which would significantly improve the chances of getting a third stimulus check passed by Congress.

Such a scenario would also likely allow Democrats to push a bill that would include a measure for a third stimulus check to the value of at least $1,200, which was the minimum that the majority of party members had been calling for ahead of the passing of the $900bn stimulus bill.