Stimulus check 2: Economists now pushing for ongoing payments

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With the status of a stimulus check 2 still up in the air, a group of economists is calling for ongoing direct payments to individuals and families. 

More than 150 economists signed onto a letter published by the left-leaning Economic Security Project urging policymakers to provide “recurring direct stimulus payments, lasting until the economy recovers.” 

The group argues that while the first stimulus check helped people cover essential expenses, ongoing payments will encourage them to keep spending and help the economy recover more quickly. The letter does not recommend specific dollar amounts, but it does suggest that payments could ebb and flow based on “economic indicators.” 

The letter says that "direct cash payments are an essential tool that will boost economic security, drive consumer spending, hasten the recovery, and promote certainty at all levels of government and the economy – for as long as necessary." The economists also argue that consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the GDP, so reviving the economy will take this sort of sustained effort. 

Stimulus check 2 up for debate

Americans are getting a lot of mixed signals about stimulus check 2. The Heroes Act approved by the U.S. House of Representatives expands relief payments for individuals and families beyond what was provided under the Cares Act. 

President Trump has said on separate occasions that “very generous” benefits may be coming “very soon” but has not offered any specifics. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow has said that “direct checks are probably going to be part” of a second stimulus bill. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Mitch McConnell recently announced plans to introduce his own version of a stimulus package but has also indicated that payments may be focused on people who earn less than $40,000 per year. 

The hope is that the Senate will get something passed before August 7, which is when is when its next summer recess begins. 

To find out how much you’re eligible for under the Heroes Act, enter your tax information into the stimulus check 2 calculator. If you think you’d receive benefits with a proposed $40,000 income cap, try this capped calculator

How to locate your first stimulus check

The first wave of stimulus checks are still trickling out, and if yours is still missing, there are a few ways to check on your payment. Start with the IRS's Get My Payment app, and set up stimulus check notifications via USPS's Informed Delivery tool to get an alert when your check or stimulus check debit card will arrive. 

You can also call the IRS stimulus check phone number to speak to a representative about your payment status. 

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.