As reported by cnet,

Here’s what you need to know about a second stimulus check for 2021.


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A $908 trillion stimulus package that was introduced during negotiations on Nov. 30 as a bipartisan stimulus framework (a list of funding for programs with no legal language around it) may emerge as the next salvo to combat the coronavirus pandemic. However, it does not contain a second stimulus check for as much as $1,200 for eligible people — a prospect that could return to the conversation in 2021.

President-elect Joe Biden and top Democrats in Congress have all committed to revisiting a broader COVID-19 relief package in the new year, possibly either after the results of Georgia’s Senatorial runoff on Jan. 5 cements which party will have control of the Senate, or after Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

Even if a stimulus check doesn’t become a reality in 2020, the strong support for more stimulus aid suggests that another payment could still be ahead.

Why wouldn’t the stimulus check make it into this latest bill? 

To the authors of the $908 billion proposal, it may simply cost too much. As of this summer, the IRS said it sent 160 million stimulus payments totaling $270 billion dollars, or roughly 30% of the total bipartisan proposal. As of September, the IRS was still hunting down at least 9 million people who were still owed that first payment, bringing the total cost even higher. 

Including another $280 billion dollars in this iteration of the bill would tip the proposal over the $1 trillion mark, which is higher than Republican lawmakers have been willing to go. To improve their chances of passing crucial relief through both the Democrat-led House of Representatives and the Republican-led Senate before Jan. 1, a stimulus check compromise may very well come down to paring back some provisions. 

And without a package of any sort by the time the last federal aid expires on Dec. 31, critical protections keeping tens of millions of Americans fed and housed could lapse for weeks.


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Who supports a second stimulus check

The question of who supports another direct payment right now isn’t straightforward or comprehensive, but we wanted to gather a list of people and groups in and around government who have come out strongly in favor of another check.

President-elect Joe Biden: “I think it would be better if they have the $1,200 and I understand that may be still in play,” Biden said Dec. 4, adding that he supports the $908 billion proposal as a necessary short-term compromise. “You’ve got to find the sweet spot where you have enough people willing to move in a direction that gets us a long way down the road.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders: The Vermont Democrat and former presidential hopeful said he won’t support the $908 billion bill without major changes to include stimulus checks. He also wants to exclude language about limiting lawsuits related to COVID-19, something that Republicans want. “In my view, we have got to make sure that every working class American receives at least $1,200 in direct payments,” Sanders said.

Sen. Josh Hawley: The Republican from Missouri appears to be a lone voice in his party, both advocating for another direct payment and also tweeting his willingness to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats. “I don’t know why we wouldn’t give assistance directly to families and individuals who need it,” he told NBC News Dec. 3. “It’s fast — it’s as fast as anything else.”

“I will gladly work w/@AOC and anyone else who wants to help working families. Families and working people in need should be the FIRST consideration in COVID relief, not last,” Hawley tweeted Dec. 4, referring to New York Democrat, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez objected to the lack of a stimulus check for ordinary Americans. “COVID relief needs to directly help everyday people. People need stimulus checks & UI,” she tweeted Friday, referring to a larger weekly check for unemployment insurance.

Rep. Roy Blunt: “We need to continue the funding for the vaccine, the delivery of the vaccine,” Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, said Nov. 29 on CNN. “Direct money to struggling families would be helpful and some extension of unemployment.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. Rashida Tlaib: The Democrats also vocalized their support for direct relief. Manchin helped craft the $908 billion stimulus bill as a way to keep programs from expiring without a safety net, he said.

127 economists: A large group of bipartisan economists, including former President Barack Obama’s top economic advisor, called on Congress Nov. 23 to swiftly pass a stimulus bill, specifically one that includes a check for Americans.

“We urge policymakers to use all the tools at their disposal to revitalize the economy, including direct cash payments, which are one of the quickest, most equitable, and most effective ways to get families and the economy back on track,” the open letter said.

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Another stimulus check isn’t out of the running yet.


James Martin/CNET

President Donald Trump: On Oct. 6, Trump openly called for Democrats to reach an agreement on a stimulus deal, hours after putting a stop to negotiations on the same day, while being treated for COVID-19 with a drug known to have strong side effects. “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now,” he tweeted.

Democrat-authored Heroes Act, versions 1 and 2: Both versions of the bill passed by the House of Representatives on May 15 and Oct. 1, respectively, included a second stimulus check of up to $1,200 per eligible adult.

Republican-Authored HEALS Act: Introduced in the Senate by Republican authors on July 27, this trillion dollar proposal included a maximum $1,200 direct payment, just like the CARES Act from March and the Heroes Act.

What if there’s no stimulus check at all?

It’s too soon to say what will happen, but if there’s no next stimulus check at all, Biden and his economic team have said they’re putting together a plan to help bolster a economy that may not fully recover for years while also funding the delivery of the coronavirus vaccine.

For more information on stimulus checks, here’s how you might get more money in your next check, or a smaller payment next time around. Here’s who may not qualify. And this is a primer on the five different priority groups and when you might realistically be able to get another check if and when it’s passed, based on key dates.





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