As reported by cnet,

After months of negotiation, Americans’ stimulus package has passed with a second stimulus check.


Sarah Tew/CNET

After a week spent attacking the $600 second stimulus check, President Donald Trump signed a $2.3 trillion bill Sunday night that that combines $900 billion in stimulus money with funding for the government — a day before the deadline that would shut down the government. In addition to approving a second stimulus check, the bipartisan COVID-19 relief aid will renew programs both Democrats and Republicans agree are critical, including $300 federal unemployment benefits, money to help businesses pay employees, a monthlong extension of a federal eviction ban and funding to help distribute the coronavirus vaccine.

“The compromise bill is not perfect, but it will do an enormous amount of good for struggling Kentuckians and Americans across the country who need help now,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted minutes after Trump signed the bill.

It isn’t clear why Trump changed his mind after days of lambasting the “measly” size of the $600 maximum payment, and advancing his agenda to raise the second stimulus check to up to $2,000 instead. Throughout the weekend, US leaders from President-elect Joe Biden to Sens. Pat Toomey and Bernie Sanders criticized Trump’s delay in signing the bill. Trump had planned to sign the package Dec. 24 at 7.p.m. ET, CNN reported Sunday, before the president allegedly changed his mind.

“I simply want to get our great people $2000 [sic], rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill. Also, stop the billions of dollars in ‘pork,'” Trump tweeted Saturday morning, referring to elements of the government funding portion of the bill that members of his party agreed to, and which have echoed Trump’s own budget requests.

Biden has referred to the stimulus portion of the joint package as a “first step and down payment,” forecasting a larger bill after he’s sworn into office — including a third stimulus check.

House will vote Monday on a $2,000 second stimulus check bill

The House of Representatives will vote Monday on a bill (PDF) to authorize the second stimulus check Trump is asking for, for up to $2,000 per qualified adult. It isn’t clear if the legislation will pass the Senate. It all depends on whether Trump will continue to hold sway with Senate Republicans in his final 24 days before Biden is sworn in as president, or whether a $2,000 check — which could greatly increase the size of the COVID-19 relief allocation — will divide the party.

“If the president is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction,” Pelosi said Dec. 24. “On Monday, I will bring the House back to session where we will hold a recorded vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000. … Hopefully by then the president will have already signed the bipartisan and bicameral legislation to keep government open and to deliver coronavirus relief.”

Democrats have long advocated for a larger second stimulus check as part of a larger aid package overall. Trump distanced himself from negotiations, and his administration’s own negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, offered the $600 ceiling for the second stimulus check totals. 

Republican and Democratic lawmakers passed the two-in-one omnibus package by overwhelming margins on Dec. 21, after months of painful negotiations.

While we closely follow the situation, read on for more information about the $2,000 stimulus check amount (the figure was advanced by a number of Democrats in mid-2020), the scenarios that could play out next and what we know about a third stimulus check for 2021. This story is updated often with new information.


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Second stimulus checks: Everything you need to know



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Trump’s $2,000 stimulus check figure treads familiar terrain

Since spring, several Democrats have suggested a $2,000 stimulus check, including Vice President-elect Sen. Kamala Harris, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey and one-time presidential hopeful (and now New York mayoral hopeful) Andrew Yang. Some supporters of this figure have even suggested sending checks on a monthly rather than a one-time basis.

Biden already supports a third stimulus check

Most US leaders seem to see the $900 billion stimulus bill as a stepping stone to a larger relief package in 2021, one that may include a third stimulus check and other provisions that Republicans and Democrats agreed to leave out this round in order to pass a critical deal. 

“This bill is just the first step, a down payment, in addressing the crisis — crises, more than one — that we’re in,” Biden said Tuesday, emphasizing that he would like to see a third stimulus check.

How quickly could the IRS send your payment?

Aid will likely begin to go out within a week or two after the bill officially passes, with certain funding programs possibly receiving financial help before the end of 2020. On Dec. 21, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave the following week as the target for sending payments via direct deposit to people who qualify for a second stimulus check to receive their payment, intended to bring direct cash flow to tens of millions of Americans.

Because of the delay signing the bill, the timeline will likely shift a week, since agencies need time to set up their processes and communicate with recipients about what they need to do or expect.

You can calculate your second stimulus check total now. Here’s which payment group you might be in. Here’s what we know about how quickly we think the IRS could send a second stimulus check, and here are more details about weekly unemployment insurance.

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A vote on the new stimulus package could come soon.


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Why didn’t the bill include a $1,200 or $2,000 second stimulus check?

A second stimulus check has had wide bipartisan support ever since the CARES Act passed. Over the last several months, everyone from Trump and Biden to members of Congress, economists and everyday people have advocated for another direct payment.

Trump has previously called for “more money than they’re talking about” in stimulus checks, as large as $1,200 or $2,000 per person. Aides reportedly convinced him at the time that making such demands would jeopardize a stimulus bill, The Washington Post reported, and the White House offer was officially extended at $600 tops.

Although many favor a $1,200 direct payment in theory, a second smaller stimulus check has helped keep costs below the $1 trillion cutoff that Republican lawmakers have in the past said they’d support. 

Stimulus checks aren’t cheap. The IRS said this summer that it had spent $270 billion sending out 160 million checks, and on Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican who has been involved in crafting the bipartisan stimulus proposal, forecast a cost of $300 billion if the checks were once again included for $1,200 per person. Republicans reportedly bridled at the cost.

A variety of factors could have contributed to a second stimulus check making its way into the final bill at all, from popular opinion and presidential preference to complicated negotiations that trimmed $160 billion from elsewhere, enough for a smaller stimulus check than before. 

For more information about stimulus checks, here’s how soon you might get your second stimulus check now, what you should do to speed up the delivery of a potential second check and what to know about the HEALS, CARES and Heroes stimulus bill proposals that could help inform a final package.





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