Stimulus check 2: What needs to happen for it to pass?

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All eyes are on Senate Republicans as they debate what to include in their upcoming stimulus package, but they aren’t the only ones who have to approve the final legislation. 

Before Americans can receive stimulus check 2, the Senate GOP must reach a consensus with House Democrats, and that consensus has to be something President Trump is willing to sign. 

Fox2Now reports that all parties are in agreement about sending another round of $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans who qualified for benefits under the Cares Act earlier this year. 

Single taxpayers earning less than $75,000 per year and married taxpayers earning less than $150,000 per year will get the full amount, while those earning up to $99,000 and $198,000, respectively, will receive prorated benefits. 

This is a compromise between what House Democrats passed in May as the Heroes Act — which would expand direct payments for dependents and workers with taxpayer identification numbers — and an earlier suggestion from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) that relief be limited to workers earning less than $40,000 per year

If the benefits formula in the final bill mirrors the Cares Act, this stimulus check calculator will tell you what you’re eligible for. Obviously, whatever you received in the first check is what you’ll get with stimulus check 2. 

What’s the holdup? 

Despite the consensus on stimulus check 2, there are other sticking points that the parties have yet to agree on. 

At issue are ongoing $600-per-week federal unemployment benefits that are set to expire by July 31, next Friday. Some Republicans want to pare that back to $400, or even $200, per week. 

They argue that the current benefits, which are added to state unemployment checks, keep people from working. The Democrats want to maintain the current level. 

There’s also concern from some Senate Republicans that the overall spending goes too far, and hesitation among House Democrats that it doesn’t go far enough to safely reopen schools and support unemployed workers. 

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday proposed splitting the proposals up into smaller chunks, with a continuation of federal unemployment benefits to take priority, The Washington Post reported, but legislators from both parties and chambers quickly shot that down.

There are also seemingly unrelated provisions up for debate, such as language from the White House about the location of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and a proposal from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) about manufacturing and China. 

One previous hangup that’s no longer on the table is a payroll-tax cut, a provision President Trump pushed for but that many, if not most, lawmakers did not support.

Stimulus check 2 timeline

Senate Republicans reportedly plan to roll out their proposal on Monday (July 27), and they’re on a tight timeline to come to consensus with House Democrats and the White House. The Senate is scheduled to start its next recess on Aug. 10 and will not return to work until early September. 

If lawmakers don’t present President Trump with a bill to sign in the next few weeks, Americans could be waiting on stimulus check 2 — and a continuation of federal unemployment benefits — into the fall. 

The Washington Post reported late on Friday that McConnell said at an event in his home state that he hopes all parties "can come together behind some package we can agree on in the next few weeks."

Still missing your first stimulus check?

If you still haven’t received your first relief payment and believe you're eligible, check your status using the IRS's Get My Payment app or call 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.