Is stimulus check 2 happening? It's not too soon to wonder, even if you haven't received your first $1,200 stimulus check from the government. A second round of the economic impact payments is possible.
The House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package on May 16 that, among support for front line workers, includes a stimulus check 2 of up to $1,200 per person (or $2,400 for married couples).
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But the Senate still needs to approve the bill, which is called the HEROES Act, for taxpayers to receive a second economic impact payment from the IRS. Although the likelihood of happening is unclear as states around the country start to reopen. The Senate may want to wait a few weeks before making a final decision and passing the bill off to the president.
Who would be eligible for stimulus check 2? U.S. taxpayers who earned less than $75,000 a year according to their most recent tax return qualified for the first round's entire $1,200 payment. Married couples, meanwhile, received a $2,400 payment if they have a joint total income of $150,000 or less.
And if you're still wondering where your first payment, this stimulus check app tracks status of your payment.
Here's everything we know about stimulus check 2, including when it might be approved and sent out.
Stimulus check 2: Payment date news
On May 16 the Heroes Act passed in the House by a vote of 208-199, supporting a second round of stimulus checks, as well as economic relief for state governments and frontline workers.
But now it appears the Senate could be stalling on its vote. Newsweek reports that the GOP is reluctant to spend more money given the current national debt, and may want to wait "until they study closer how the aid they've given so far has impacted people."
In other words, the Senate may decide more emergency funding is not necessary at this time, pointing to states reopening as evidence of economic improvement.
But President Trump has communicated that he's open to a second round of payments. As reported by CNBC, he said, “I think we’re going to be helping people out” and “getting some money for them." He added that the U.S. could take “one more nice shot” at a stimulus payment.
In addition, Senior White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told CNN that another phase of stimulus is “pretty likely,” die to record unemployment that may hit as high as 23%.
If the Heroes Act is approved, then eligible Americans could see the stimulus check 2 in the coming weeks or months. The IRS would likely need to complete a majority of the first round payments before printing the next wave of checks.
The Senate will reportedly begin discussing the Heroes Act on June 1, but that date is not confirmed. When asked about when the Senate would start talks about another stimulus bill, Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, told CNN, "After the recess."
Stimulus check 2: When will I know if I'm eligible?
If you were eligible for the first stimulus check, you'll also be eligible for stimulus check 2.
People who earn $75,000 or less per year according to their most recent tax returns would qualify for the entire $1,200 stimulus check. Married people, or joint filers, who earn under $150,000 per year are eligible for $2,400.
Those who earn more, up to $100,000 per year, will receive a prorated amount.
You can use this online calculator to see how much you could expect from a second round of stimulus checks.
Will President Trump approve stimulus check 2?
The Republicans are expected to challenge the bill, with early indications suggesting their staunch opposition might mean it is dead in the water already. Even if the bill is passed by the Senate, President Trump would then need to sign it into law in order for it to take effect.
However, according to a statement of administration policy from the President’s office, it’s noted that if the HEROES Act is presented to Trump “his advisors would recommend that he veto the bill”, which further puts the future of a second round if stimulus checks in doubt.
This bill comes in the wake of nearly 3 million US workers filing for unemployment in the last week alone, according to the US Labor Department. That brings the total number of unemployment claims in the US to a staggering 36.5 million, a number that could help spur a second stimulus check into action.
Note that the HEROES Act would make taxpaying immigrants and their families eligible for federal stimulus payments regardless of their legal status, according to a report on Vox. However, Republicans in the House have argued that the relief funds should be for US citizens only.
Stimulus check 2: Do we need a round 2?
That depends who you ask. While some are in a better way now that states are starting to reopen, $1,200 might not cover the expenses for people who have lost their jobs or their businesses.
In a recent statement, the U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index said it anticipates up to 37 million people will be unemployed as a result of the pandemic. While the pace of job loss is slowing, a record-breaking 33 million people have already filed for unemployment since the pandemic began.
And more people could still be laid off. Financial technology firm SimplyWise reported that 63% of Americans require a second stimulus check if they're expected to pay bills.
Students are also set to benefit from the HEROES Act if it passes the Senate, as the Act would offer up to $10,000 worth of student loan forgiveness for those who are considered “economically distressed borrowers” and hold federal or private student loans. To be considered a distressed borrower, a student needs to meet criteria where they are clearly struggling with debt, including being unable to pay anything per month towards their federal student loan or be in default of their private sector loan, or have their student loans in some form of deferment or forbearance situation.
Monthly stimulus check: Is $2,000 per month possible?
Forbes reports that a bill to provide monthly payments of $2,000 to Americans within a certain age and income bracket is "gaining steam" with some congressional supporters. The House bill was put forth by Rep. Time Ryan (D-Ohio) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif).
Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif) and Bernie Sanders (D-Verm) lead another in the Senate bill that would send $2,000 to every U.S. citizen each month until the pandemic ends.
Despite both the House and Senate working on monthly payment bills, there could be too many roadblocks for either to pass. Not only would $2,000 create an enormous expense for the government, but it would be difficult to identify those who truly require financial support.
As of this writing, the stimulus check 2's fate remains uncertain, so stay tuned for more updates.
$4,000 check: What is the Skills Renewal Act?
Four senators have come up with a bipartisan proposal that could pay as much as $4,000 to those who've lost their jobs because of the pandemic. They include Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), as well as Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).
As reported by Forbes, the Skills Renewal Act could be an alternative to the HEROES Act. The proposal would offer a fully-refundable $4,000 tax credit that would cover the costs of re-training workers with skills that are “expected to be in high demand by employers in the coming months.”
According to The Motley Fool, those who receive this tax credit and they'd have until the end of 2021 to get the training eligible to receive it. In addition, the $4,000 credit amount would be fully refundable.
Eligible programs as part of the Skills Renewal Act would include traditional degree programs as well as certificates, apprenticeships, and other work arrangements. Distance learning would also be included.