Stimulus check 2 may be delayed as White House and Republicans clash

President Trump and Mitch McConnell
(Image credit: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Negotiations over stimulus check 2 are underway, but with the White House and Senate Republicans far apart on what should be included, a final bill appears unlikely to pass before the end of July. 

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) outlined the basics of the initial Senate GOP proposal, which includes another round of stimulus checks for individuals and families, an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program and funding to help schools reopen. 

However, priorities differ between President Trump and Senate lawmakers, as well as among lawmakers themselves. As CNN reports, the White House insists on a payroll tax cut, with Trump suggesting he’d veto any proposal that doesn’t include this measure. 

Many senators are either unenthused about or outright against a payroll tax cut. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said earlier this week that another round of direct payments would be more beneficial. 

Beyond that, Senate Republicans are reportedly at odds with one another, leaving open the possibility that lawmakers will struggle to reach an agreement quickly. 

'What the hell are we doing?'

A meeting Tuesday between White House representatives and top GOP senators got testy, according to multiple sources, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asking other attendees, "What the hell are we doing?"

About the only thing the Senate Republican leadership and the White House can agree on right now is that they need to come up with a single plan. That way, they can present a united front in negotiations with House Democrats, who passed their own second stimulus bill two months ago.

Unfortunately, many Americans are feeling a sense of urgency. Federal unemployment benefits — the extra $600 per week provided under the Cares Act — are set to expire July 31, and state unemployment programs that require people to reapply for extended benefits could once again be overwhelmed and experience processing delays. Plus, the Senate has another recess scheduled to begin Aug. 10. 

If this stimulus package isn’t finalized quickly, Americans could be stuck waiting for relief until September or later

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is negotiating with Congress on behalf of the White House, has said the aim is to get a bill passed before federal unemployment insurance expires at the end of the month. However, Senate leaders are skeptical that will happen. 

House proposal for stimulus check 2

House Democrats passed the Heroes Act, which would fund a second round of stimulus payments, in May. The bill would expand payments for families with dependents and taxpayers who don't have Social Security numbers. 

The same income caps would apply — only single taxpayers earning less than $99,000 and married taxpayers (who file jointly) earning less than $198,000 would receive benefits. 

However, under this proposal, Americans would likely receive slightly more money: $2,170 on average for stimulus check 2 compared to $1,729 with the first round of payments.

Locate your first stimulus check

If you still haven’t received your first stimulus check provided under the Cares Act but believe you're eligible, search your status using the IRS's Get My Payment app or speak to a representative at the IRS stimulus check phone number.  

Emily Long

Emily Long is a Utah-based freelance writer who covers consumer technology, privacy and personal finance for Tom's Guide. She has been reporting and writing for nearly 10 years, and her work has appeared in Wirecutter, Lifehacker, NBC BETTER and CN Traveler, among others. When she's not working, you can find her trail running, teaching and practicing yoga, or studying for grad school — all fueled by coffee, obviously.