The second round of stimulus checks could be for $2,000, not just $1,200, if a group of lawmakers can rally enough support to include the checks in the next COVID-19 relief package.
According to Business Insider (opens in new tab), 17 Democratic members of the House of Representatives, all members of the left-leaning Congressional Progressive Caucus, have sent a letter to Congressional leaders expressing support for a larger stimulus check 2 "of at least $2,000 for all working individuals and families" as well as six months of enhanced unemployment benefits.
Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington), Ro Khanna (D-California), Barbara Lee (D-California), Katie Porter (D-California), Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) are among the lawmakers included in the effort.
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The pro-$2,000 stimulus check group addressed the letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York).
Considered the core four of the current stimulus-bill negotiators, the party leaders reportedly met on Tuesday in-person for the first time in months to discuss both the government spending framework and a new relief package.
For another stimulus bill to pass, Pelosi and McConnell need to compromise. That said, Pelosi has demanded over $2 trillion in total relief spending, including a stimulus check 2 amount of $1,200 per eligible person; McConnell has remained in favor of a targeted, $500 billion bill without stimulus checks.
A pair of bipartisan bills totaling about $900 billion and put forward by Senate moderates have received tentative support from President-elect Joe Biden. The package is seen a positive way forward, since one bill contains provisions most members of Congress can agree on. But the bills do not include additional stimulus checks because it's thought that any package totaling more than $1 trillion will not pass the GOP-controlled Senate.
The White House has proposed a bill totaling about $920 billion that would include $600 stimulus checks, half the amount provided for in the original CARES Act back in March.
As such, it's unlikely that any of the Congressional leaders will agree to $2,000 stimulus checks. We could see ends meet on issues like unemployment, although little news has come from Tuesday's meeting.
Second stimulus check: Will you qualify?
In their letter, the group of lawmakers did not indicate who would or wouldn't be eligible for $2,000 stimulus checks. But based on previous bills, relief negotiations and the qualifications of the first stimulus check, we can guess how it'll work.
If you were eligible for the first stimulus check, you should be eligible for stimulus check 2, should it be included in the next stimulus package.
Reminder: People who earned $75,000 or less per year according to their most recent tax returns qualified for the entire $1,200 stimulus check. Married people, or joint filers, who earn under $150,000 per year were eligible for $2,400.
People who earn more, up to $100,000 per year per individual taxpayer, received a prorated amount.