Second stimulus checks going out now — but $2,000 payments blocked

Second stimulus check
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Second stimulus checks are finally on their way to eligible Americans. Paper checks for the $600 payments are being mailed today, while those who’ll receive direct deposits could already find the money in their account.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tweeted the news yesterday. However, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell blocked a measure to increase the payment amount to $2,000 after it passed the House with bipartisan support.

Despite pressure from both Democrats and some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, McConnell denied the measure a direct vote. Instead, he introduced a bill that would combine increased stimulus checks with two unrelated measures: a repeal of the Section 230 online liability protections and the commissioning of an investigation into unsubstantiated voter fraud claims.

This bill won’t necessarily be brought to a vote itself, but it does make $2,000 checks unlikely to become reality as Democrat senators are unlikely to vote in favor of the two additional measures.

In response, Trump tweeted a warning of a “death wish” among Senate Republicans and again called for $2,000 payments to be approved “ASAP.”

If the payment amount is ever increased it may need to apply retroactively, as according to Mnuchin’s tweets the $600 checks are already on their way. The IRS’ Get My Payment service linked in Mnuchin’s second tweet is currently offline, however, stating that "The IRS continues to monitor and prepare for new legislation related to Economic Impact Payments.” This could mean you won’t be able to check the status of your second stimulus check until the $2,000 increase issue is resolved one way or the other.

If you’re not sure about whether you’re eligible for a second stimulus check, or don't know how much you should receive (married couple and those with children could be entitled to higher payments), check out our second stimulus check guide. And, if you’re all set for a direct deposit, keep an eye on your bank account.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.