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Stimulus check 2 and CARES Act 2 plan coming next week, says McConnell

Stimulus check 2
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Funding for a stimulus check 2 is part of Senate Republicans' forthcoming economic-aid package, which will be called CARES Act 2 and introduced next week, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor yesterday (July 23) as stimulus check and bill discussions continued with the White House.

As the new bill's name suggests, it will look similar to March's CARES Act. But while the first bill allocated $2 trillion for economic stimulus, McConnell's CARES Act 2 would offer about $1 trillion in stimulus money to curb the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Next week, we could see more details about funding for schools, healthcare and businesses, but all eyes are on whether a second round of direct payments will be coming for millions of Americans.

Neither McConnell nor other Republican lawmakers involved in stimulus check 2 negotiations have shared specifics, but it's become clear that the language in the first CARES Act will be echoed in McConnell's proposal.

“We're talking about the same provision as last time, so our proposal is the exact same proposal as last time," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who represents the White House in the stimulus-package discussions with Republican senators, told reporters. 

Second $1,200 stimulus check qualifications

If the Senate Republicans and the White House agree to another round of $1,200 direct payments to individuals and families in their upcoming proposal, those who were eligible for the first stimulus check could see the same stimulus check 2 amount.

In the first round of stimulus checks, single taxpayers earning less than $75,000 per year and married taxpayers earning less than $150,000 per year received $1,200 per individual, with prorated benefits for those earning up to $99,000 and $198,000, respectively. 

The HEROES Act, a stimulus package passed by the Democrat-led House in May, would expand second-round payments to give $1,200 per dependent in each household, up to $6,000 total. It's unclear whether the Senate has scrapped this initiative in its own version of a new aid bill.

The Republican-controlled Senate's planned proposal next week is meant to counter the HEROES Act so that the two chambers, and the two parties, can begin negotiations and eventually reach a consensus bill that President Donald Trump would be willing to sign.

Trump payroll tax cut scrapped 

Trump made clear in recent weeks that a payroll tax cut, which he alone was a strong proponent of, would be a sticking point in the negotiations. However, The Washington Post reports that Senate Republicans dropped dropped the payroll-tax cut language from the bill Thursday. Trump chimed in on Twitter about the pivot away from his stimulus-plan demands.

Senate lawmakers are on a tight timeline to finalize a proposal and smooth out a stimulus check 2 date. If a bill doesn’t pass before Aug. 10, when the Senate is scheduled to go on a recess, Americans could be waiting on benefits well into September.