As reported by cnet,

The latest proposal for a third stimulus check would change the rules, from the maximum payment to who qualifies.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The majority of second stimulus checks for up to $600 per person have now been delivered. But while some people will have to chase down their checks alongside filing for 2020 taxes (what to do if your payment didn’t arrive), others can start anticipating the details of another wave of direct payments, including how much new stimulus money each household might get, how fast Congress could create a bill and begin to deliver a third stimulus check and how the qualifications in a third check might change to bring more families more money.

Last week, President-elect Joe Biden introduced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that, if passed as is, would include a $400 weekly unemployment bonus, extend the federal eviction ban and approve a payment of up to $1,400 per eligible adult — not the $2,000 originally expected. The idea would be to”raise” the $600 maximum of the second stimulus check to $2,000, when combining the per-person payment maximums.

Of course, these suggestions are only the first steps toward a fresh injection of relief money during the nation’s unrelenting coronavirus pandemic. Key negotiators will be the ones to craft a bill that Congress will ultimately approve or reject. We’ll sketch out what we know so far, including potential hurdles, a timeline for sending the checks and changes to qualifications that could affect how much money you might get in a final check (hint: it could be far more than $1,400 per household). Here’s what we know so far.

Why would a third check bring $1,400 instead of $2,000 maximum?

Ironically, President Donald Trump — who was impeached on Jan. 13 and faces his second trial in the Senate — was the one who set serious discussions of a $2,000 stimulus check in motion when he initially delayed signing December’s stimulus bill and demanded to raise the $600 ceiling on the second stimulus check to $2,000.

President-elect Biden said during a Jan. 14 press conference that “We will finish the job of getting $2,000 in cash relief to people who need it most.” Biden said “even for people who have kept their jobs, getting this check is really important,” noting that workers who worry about job security or getting sick would gain peace of mind, and could also immediately spend the money on food and rent. “$2,000 is going to go a long way to ease that pain,” Biden said.

We can’t say for certain why Biden chose $1,400 as the maximum instead of $2,000, but there has been opposition to a $2,000 stimulus payment. Combined with the $600 second check that went out, a full $,2000 maximum would bring a combined total of up to $2,600 per person, without figuring in dependents. If Biden is trying to keep the proposal below $2 trillion, a larger stimulus check could push his $1.9 trillion stimulus bill proposal over the threshold.

When could a third stimulus check be approved?

Biden didn’t indicate when he would attempt to push through his stimulus package, but we know by reviewing the path to the first and second stimulus checks that it takes an enormous amount of coordination, compromise and cooperation to pass a bipartisan bill, especially when the desires of the opposing sides are so far apart.

The fact that Biden has already outlined his stimulus bill for 2021 suggests that he could push Congress to act quickly. There are also potential complications with Biden’s ambitious plans to vaccinate 100 million people against the COVID-19 virus in his first 100 days in office, plus the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, the Senate’s confirmation hearings over Biden’s proposed cabinet members and a raft of executive actions Biden will sign in his first 10 days in office.

Read more: Could Biden pardon Trump? Will Trump attempt to pardon himself? What we know


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How fast could the IRS send the checks, assuming a bill passes? Would their be another deadline?

The IRS and US Treasury set a blistering pace to deliver the second stimulus checks, starting within days of Trump signing December’s stimulus bill. But they had to. The language of the bill provided only a 17 day window to send the checks before the imposed deadline. There were millions of direct deposit errors, and now anyone missing stimulus money will have to claim it as part of filing 2020 taxes. (Yes, even tax nonfilers, too.)

It’s too soon to say if the IRS would automatically send a third check to recipients as they had been doing with the second stimulus checks, or if the money would be wrapped up into a Recovery Rebate Credit. We walk through more possible scenarios for the third stimulus check timeline here.

How could stimulus check qualifications change again?

Biden proposes two changes that have been popular among Democratic lawmakers:

A mixed status household refers to households with one or more people who are not US citizens, for example, if the parents are not US citizens, but their children, who were born in the US, are. The second stimulus checks expanded eligibility to families with one citizen spouse.

How could a third stimulus check potentially affect the economy?

The idea of any stimulus check is for people to use it; either by paying for basic needs like rent and food or for putting it back into the economy in other ways, like through purchasing goods and services. Some have suggested that people who save their stimulus payments are not using the checks as intended; however, the money is given free and clear, with very few exceptions on how it’s kept or used.

Stimulus bills are clearly expensive, and create national debt. If Biden’s proposal passes unchanged, it would cost $1.9 trillion.

“Neither the President-elect, nor I, propose this relief package without an appreciation for the country’s debt burden,” said Janet Yellen, Biden’s pick for treasury secretary,” said Jan. 18, CNN and others reported. “But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big.”

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How much money could a third stimulus check really bring your household? We’ll soon see.


Sarah Tew/CNET

What hurdles are facing a third stimulus check?

There’s already pushback from Democrats in more ways than one. With the Senate evenly split, opposition from just one Democratic senator could sink the party’s hopes for a large third stimulus check.

“$2,000 means $2,000. $2,000 does not mean $1,400,″ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Jan. 14 to The Washington Post, referring to Biden’s earlier and repeated commitment to a $2,000 stimulus check.

On the other end of the spectrum, Sen. Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat from West Virginia, expressed concern multiple times about the cost of a third stimulus check and suggested the financial aid could be better focused on those most in need of the money.

“How is the money that we invest now going to help us best to get jobs back and get people employed? And I can’t tell you that sending another check out is gonna do that to a person that’s already got a check,” Manchin said Jan. 8, later reportedly indicating he was “open” to hearing President-elect Joe Biden’s case for a larger stimulus check, but prioritizes vaccine distribution

Many Republicans are expected to object to a new, high-priced stimulus package, especially one with that could more than double the size of the $600 stimulus check. With a soon-to-be Democrat-led Senate, Schumer is counting on pushing the legislation through, especially with incoming Vice President-elect Kamala Harris set to act as a tiebreaker.

A bigger stimulus check could bring bigger checks more ways than one

A larger maximum total per person is the obvious way your household would see more money from a third check than from the second, but there’s more to it than that. Since the upper limit for the second check is $600 per adult, with an extra $600 per child dependent, the way the IRS’ formula works out, more people hit the upper income limit for receiving a second payment, which means they won’t actually qualify to get any stimulus money at all.

A third stimulus check could:

Here are other ways a third stimulus check could put more money in your pocket.

For more information, here’s other funding that could be in the next stimulus package, how to calculate your second stimulus check payment and who may not qualify for a stimulus check.





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