When was the second stimulus check sent out and how much was it?
President Biden is still waiting for Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan, but how does the third round of stimulus checks compare to previous payments?
Talks in Washington are continuing as President Joe Biden looks to pass the American Rescue Plan, his $1.9 trillion covid-19 stimulus bill. The package includes federal funding for additional unemployment benefits, boosts the child tax credit system and provides a third round of stimulus checks.
The stimulus checks proposal has come under particular scrutiny since the package was first proposed last month, with some Republican lawmakers calling for eligibility to be narrowed or for the amount offered to be decreased.
Now that the Democrats are able to use reconciliation to pass Biden’s bill without bipartisan support, it seems likely that the stimulus checks will remain pretty close to the original proposal. But how does this compare to the previous round of direct payments?
How much was Trump's second round of stimulus checks worth?
In late December, having recently lost the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump struggled to get a much-needed covid-19 relief bill through Congress. He had publically called for another round of stimulus checks but his own party were blocking his proposals in the Senate.
As a compromise, Trump passed an emergency relief bill worth about $900 billion which provided a round of $600 stimulus checks for eligible Americans. It was seen as a stop-gap bill, which he hoped would tide the American people over until the new administration.
The first round of stimulus checks took months to be distributed but, now they had all the relevant details on file, the IRS set a deadline of 15 January for the second round of payments to be made. There were some issues for people who use a tax filing company like TurboTax, but over 160 million stimulus check payments were successfully made before the deadline.
For anyone who is still yet to receive theirs, the IRS has set up a process by which you can receive the money in the form of a tax credit for the 2020 tax year. For full details, check out our handy explainer.
Will the third stimulus check payment be different?
The most notable change in Biden’s proposal is the size of the payments, with $1,400 stimulus checks offered to every eligible American. This is billed as a ‘top-up’ to the $600 issued by Trump, providing the $2,000 that Biden said Americans needed.
There are also plans for the eligibility requirements to be broadened so more people can get the cash. In the past adult dependents have not been able to receive the payments but that could change. The American Rescue Plan could see around 13.5 million extra people sent stimulus checks, primarily college students, the elderly and people with disabilities.
However there have been growing calls for the income thresholds to be tightened so the money is more targeted towards low earners. Republican lawmakers have called for the $75,000-a-year figure that was used in the past to be dropped to $50,000, meaning that fewer Americans will be able to receive the full amount.
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