With higher rates of unemployment than before Covid-19 struck and a national economy struggling to restart in its aftermath, many Americans are experiencing financial strain. As the nation confronts the pandemic’s economic fallout, many are hoping for a second stimulus check. While a second stimulus check has not yet been assured by the government, it is under discussion in Congress and the White House.
Stimulus Positions Taking Shape
The House Democrats offered a plan that includes a generous second stimulus check. Republican Senate leaders indicated unwillingness to sanction the House plan due to its expense. While Senate Republicans are open to what Republican leadership calls a final stimulus package, there have been some indications that top Republicans are hesitant to grant a second stimulus check. However, there has been some softening of this position. The White House is also considering a second stimulus check as part of the next stimulus package.
Democrats Open Negotiations
By passing the Heroes Act in the House, Democrats opened negotiations on a second stimulus check for the people. Their plan offers a higher amount of stimulus money allotted to dependents than was provided in the first round of stimulus checks. The Heroes Act increases the stimulus payment for dependents to $1200 from $500, expanding that group to include children over 17, college students, and disabled family members. Senate Republican leadership was dismissive of the plan, but it does serve as a starting point for negotiations.
Senate, White House Plans
Republican Senate leaders say the Senate is working toward a plan they say will be lower in cost and more tightly focused on improving the economy. Since the majority of the US economy relies on consumer spending, putting dollars in the hands of American consumers via a second stimulus check may be a logical move, especially if the Republicans want to garner the Democratic support their plan would need to pass a Senate vote. The White House expects to start crafting their own stimulus plan within the week.
It’s A Waiting Game
The Senate may not start serious work on a stimulus package until the end of July. A vote on the Heroes Acts passed by the House hasn’t been scheduled yet. The White House doesn’t expect its plan to be complete until July. With negotiations and Senate voting, it may be three months or more before a second stimulus check arrives.