$1,400 third stimulus check schedule: when will bill be voted on, passed and checks sent?
The Senate has just acquitted Trump for a second time, allowing the chamber to focus on other business, like passing a third round of stimulus checks.
The good news is that a repeat of the nine-month deadlock we saw in 2020 between the first and second stimulus checks seems very unlikely.
President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) is very likely to include a booster $1,400 third stimulus check to add to the bipartisan $600 pay out in December, for eligible individuals.
Talks on a third bipartisan deal came to an end after a group of 10 Republican lawmakers proposed a targeted bill of just $600bn, which was a non-starter.
With a bipartisan deal off the table, and a 60-vote majority necessary to pass the bill normally, Democrats opted to use a process called “budget reconciliation.” For this type of bill, passing a budget resolution allows Democrats to pass a bill with a simple majority of 51, in other words without the support of the GOP.
Budget set - when could stimulus checks be sent?
The process for sending a third stimulus check will largely mirror the first two, though this time because of budget reconciliation, the process in Congress could be far quicker, as Democrats - narrowly - control both the House and the Senate.
The budget resolution was not the actual bill, so the bill still needs to pass through both chambers, in other words both chambers of Congress, Biden will then have to sign it into law, and then the IRS will do its work of sending checks out through various means.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she’s hopeful that her chamber can pass the $1.9tn bill by the end of February, adding that shortly afterwards is when she hopes that checks will be landing in the bank accounts of eligible Americans.
It’s important to note that in the process of passing the stimulus bill through Congress there are likely to b negotiations and possible amendments, all of which could cause days or weeks of holdups to Pelosi’s proposed schedule.
"We hope to have this all done by the end of February," Pelosi said on 11 February. "Certainly on the president's desk in time to offset the March 14 deadline where some unemployment benefits would expire."
On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee passed the part of the proposal that includes up to $1,400 stimulus checks - based on the ARP – which will advance the bill to the next steps.
Timeline for stimulus checks before 14 March deadline
If all goes swimmingly with negotiations and a version of the bill with stimulus checks passes through Congress, there are two possible timelines that Cnet have drawn up, both following the assumption that the 14 March deadline that Pelosi imposed can be met, after which some existing pandemic benefits will expire.
The first scenario requires Congress to pass the bill by Friday 26 February – this could happen, but is not likely. In this case, Biden would sign the bill into law on Monday 1 March and the IRS would send the first direct deposit checks the week of 8 March, with paper checks sent 15 March and finally EIP cards the week of 22 March.
The second timeline has Congress passing a bill by Friday 12 March and in this case President Biden could pass the bill on Sunday 14 March. The week of 22 March is when the IRS would begin paying the direct deposits to bank accounts, followed by paper checks on 29 March and finally EIP cards on 5 April.
Find out how your federal tax return filed before 15 April 2021 could affect how much you get in your stimulus.