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Stimulus check: Would you get a second $1,200 payment from the IRS? The news today

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The first stimulus checks, for up to $1,200, have mostly gone out. Now the government is considering a second payment to get us through the coronavirus pandemic.


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It sounds like a math problem: If Senate and House lawmakers can reach an agreement to send a second stimulus check, how much money will you get before 2020 is done? But that’s the big question in Washington as the US economy stumbles into summer battered by the coronavirus recession.

Over the coming weeks, members of Congress and White House advisers will begin to consider the benefits of a second round of checks, when the payment could go out, who might qualify for more money and the size of the check you should expect based on your income.

Here’s what we know about the most prominent federal government proposals and what they envision for your extra stimulus money. This story updates frequently in light of new information. If you’re still waiting for your first stimulus checkhere are 10 possible reasons for a delay and what you can do if you think your payment is lost or has fallen through the cracks.

The situation in a snapshot

The White House: President Donald Trump has told aides he is “largely supportive” of another round of coronavirus stimulus payments to help prop up the US economy, according to The Washington Post. In the last few weeks, the president has been vocal about the prospects of a second economic relief bill that would include more checks for Americans. 

“We will be doing another stimulus package. It will be very good. It will be very generous,” the president said in an interview with Scripps’ Washington correspondent Joe St. George earlier this month.

The Senate: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly said he’ll keep to a July deadline to make a decision on whether Americans will see a second stimulus check or not. With coronavirus cases spiking in 37 states, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer are ramping up the pressure for McConnell to begin work on a second package now, The Washington Post reports.

The House: The House of Representatives has already acted, passing in May the Heroes Act (PDF), which would authorize a second round of payments if signed into law — which at this point is extremely unlikely, in the face of strong opposition from the Senate and the president. 

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Want more stimulus check money? Who wouldn’t?


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How much money could you get from a second stimulus check?

Here are the possible amounts being discussed in Washington:

Remember that how much you get will eventually depend on your situation. For example, even if the bill passes, there will certainly be eligibility restrictions based on, for example, how much money you make annually, your age, your dependents and your US citizenship or residency status.

How could a second stimulus check help the economy?

The goal of the second stimulus check would be the same as the first: to help individuals and businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak. That includes people who couldn’t work because they got sick, were furloughed or cut to part time, or lost their jobs when businesses closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

“A full recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities,” Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell said in prepared remarks before the House committee on Financial Services on June 30.

“The path forward will also depend on the policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery for as long as needed,” Powell said.

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The Labor Department last week reported first-time unemployment claims topped 1 million (PDF) for the week ending June 20, making 14 straight weeks that more than 1 million US workers filed new claims.

It’s not just the US that is suffering through a recession. According to the World Bank, we are in the deepest global recession in decades.

What are Republican leaders offering?

Senate Republicans, led by McConnell, have yet to share clear guidelines they want to follow for a second round. Talk has focused on limiting the size of the bill, liability protection for businesses and a strong message that this coronavirus stimulus package would be the last.

“I can’t tell you what the amount is likely to be at this point, but it won’t be $3 trillion,” McConnell said on June 27. In comparison, the CARES Act is a $2 trillion package, the same amount the president targeted for this next round. The Heroes Act proposes to spend $3 trillion.   

The Senate package could include provisions to reduce liability for doctors and businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits, The Wall Street Journal reported in May. It could also include assistance for small businesses and health care.

The White House vision for the second stimulus check

The president told White House aides he supports a second round of stimulus checks. The White House may make its own proposal, though a plan is still taking shape, The Wall Street Journal reported in June.

In response to a journalist’s question on June 17 as to whether Americans should expect another stimulus check this summer, the president said, “I think we’re working on something that’s going to be very dramatic, very good.”

Trump and his economic advisers are looking to boost the US economy with incentives for workers to find new employment or return to their preexisting jobs. The White House is also considering tax breaks for those who take a vacation in the US (PDF) this year to encourage spending, the Journal reported. Japan has taken a similar approach to encourage domestic travel.

White House adviser Peter Navarro tweeted that the president is looking for at least $2 trillion for the next stimulus package, “with a bulk of that focused on bringing home our manufacturing base,” Navarro said.

The White House is also considering reducing unemployment payments to $250 or $300 a week during the second half of the year, which Republicans believe will induce people who lost their jobs to find work. Currently, payments are $600 a week, as part of the CARES Act passed in March. The enhanced benefits expire at the end of July.

The president continues to push for payroll tax cuts, an idea he brought up in March. “We will be going for a payroll tax cut,” he said earlier this month, “which will be incredible in terms of what we are doing because we are going to be bigger and better than we ever were.”

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What does the Heroes Act propose?

The House of Representatives, which has a Democrat majority, passed the Heroes Act on May 15. The bill, which has not passed the Senate and is not law, seeks a wide range of benefits for households, renters and people who live in the US and are not citizens, according to a fact sheet from the House Appropriations Committee (PDF). McConnell has already dismissed the bill, as has the White House, saying the House package is “more concerned with delivering on longstanding partisan and ideological wishlists.”

Here are its outlines:

Individuals: An eligible person would receive up to $1,200 if their adjusted gross income, or AGI, from their 2019 federal tax filing or 2018 filing (if you haven’t filed taxes yet) was less than $75,000 and incrementally decrease as the AGI goes up.

Children and dependents: Each dependent would qualify for a $1,200 payment, unlike the first stimulus bill, which capped up to three children at $500 apiece. It would apply to college students, children over 17, disabled relatives and a taxpayer’s parent.

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A House plan would mail out another round of payments.


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Families: Households would qualify for a maximum payment of $6,000 total, capped at five family members at $1,200 apiece. The amount you’d be eligible to receive would decline the higher your AGI is.

People who aren’t US citizens: Noncitizens who file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) instead of a Social Security number would qualify for a payment.

Unemployment benefits: The bill would carry over the current enhanced unemployment benefit of $600 per week (on top of states’ typical unemployment payout) to January 2021.

Second stimulus check: What comes next?

The House has made its move and now we wait on the White House and Congress to share their full proposals, which should be up for debate sometime in July. Here’s the timeline as we know it today, including the Senate’s blackout dates for weeks of planned recess.

While the prospects for a second package seem promising — “The odds of a Phase Four deal are very, very high,” White House adviser Kevin Hassett told the Wall Street Journal this month — until Congress actually passes the bill and the president signs it into law, we’ll have to stand by.

While we wait to learn more about a second proposal, here’s information about unemployment insurancewhat you can do if you’ve lost your jobwhat to know about evictions and late car payments and how to take control of your budget.



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