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Stimulus check 2 date: Here's when you could get a direct payment

Stimulus check 2 date
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The stimulus check 2 date is in limbo, although talks have resumed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) unveiled a new $2.2 trillion relief bill just after sharing optimism about talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and the White House countered with a $1.8 trillion proposal of its own.

Meanwhile, the Senate is preoccupied with replacing the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has been cool to the idea of a stimulus bill that costs around $2 trillion.

But it's still possible that a plan and timeline could be revealed soon. Here's the latest rundown of where things currently stand in stimulus-check 2 talks between Democrats and Republicans.

On Oct. 18, Pelosi gave the White House 48 hours to come to her with a workable compromise. If a deal isn't reached between her and Mnuchin by Tuesday evening, Oct. 20, she said, there would not be enough time for the resulting bill to pass both the House and Senate and be signed into law by President Donald J. Trump by Election Day, Nov. 3.

If such a compromise is reached in time, McConnell said Oct. 17 that Senate Republicans would have to consider it, a marked change in tone from his outright rejection of a large stimulus bill a few days earlier.

The stalemate is about more than just money. Democrats want to give a lot of money to cash-strapped state and local governments, many of which must balance their budgets even though tax revenues have dried up during the coronavirus crisis. 

Republicans want to shield businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits. But both sides agree that there should be another round of $1,200 stimulus checks going out to qualifying taxpayers.

Even as Mnuchin and Pelosi keep talking, Trump tells the public he's ready to spend whatever it takes, and McConnell plans to introduce a $500 billion "skinny" bill that contains no stimulus checks. (This one is different from a similar Senate skinny bill that died on a technical vote in September.)

Left ignored, after initial support from Trump, is a compromise stimulus package that would cost between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion put forward in mid-September by a bipartisan House group called the Problem Solvers Caucus. 

With no exact round 2 timeline, you may be wondering when you can expect stimulus check 2. It's almost impossible for a second round of stimulus checks to happen by Halloween, although there's just enough time for them to go out by Nov. 3.

It's confirmed that stimulus check 2 is included in both chambers' proposed stimulus packages, but Republicans and Democrats have not been able to reach a deal as of Oct. 19. Senate Republicans would like to see the total package closer to $1 trillion, even as the White House has indicated it is willing to go higher than $1.8 trillion.

A complicating factor is that there are a number of proposals on the table for stimulus check 2. Republicans did get a majority vote on a "skinny bill" targeted at unemployment benefits and business relief, but it failed to get the 60 votes to advance in the Senate. Democrats are lobbying for a more comprehensive package. 

Stimulus check 2 timeline: When it could be coming

The exact timeline of a second stimulus package is tough to nail down, as it depends on which proposal the Senate considers and how long it takes them to pass a bill. 

Talks between Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), White House Chief of Staff Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were put on hold in early August and resumed between Pelosi and Mnuchin after Labor Day. 

The House briefly came back in mid-August to quickly pass a largely symbolic bill to provide more money for the U.S. Postal Service, but moderate Democrats failed to convince Pelosi to compromise on a new package during that window.

Here are a few scenarios based on where things stand: 

Before Election Day: A group of House renegades wrote a letter to Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) demanding that House members stay in Washington until a second stimulus bill is passed. That didn't happen.

All Congressmen would like to wrap up business in D.C. quickly so that they can go home and campaign for their own re-election or for other candidates, but the budget and Supreme Court battles loom closer.

After Election Day: If either President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden decisively wins the election and the results are settled amicably and quickly, then the House and Senate will return for "lame duck" sessions. Freed of immediate re-election pressures, members of Congress may be more willing to compromise.

But if the election results are contested, the political and legal battle could go on for weeks, and not much will get done amid the uncertainty.

Once a final package is approved, checks won’t drop immediately. It’ll take the IRS some time to process payments — according to the Motley Fool, the first checks could go out within two weeks and wrap up in seven weeks or less.

No stimulus check? Track down your first payment

The first round of stimulus checks are still trickling out. If you haven’t received yours and believe you’re eligible, go to the IRS’s Get My Payment app to check the status. You can also set up stimulus check notifications with the USPS’s Informed Delivery tool, which tells you when your check or stimulus check debit card is left in your mailbox.

Finally try the IRS stimulus check phone number if you’re still having trouble. Representatives may be able to help you with stimulus check status questions, although they probably will not have any information about the possible second round.