President Trump issued several executive orders over the weekend, including an extension of federal unemployment benefits at $400 per week through the end of the year.
But stimulus check 2 was not included, and with talks between Democrats and the White House apparently stalled, it’s unclear when (or whether) another round of direct payments will happen.
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is negotiating on behalf of the White House, said on Monday he is open to resuming discussions, adding that “we’re prepared to put more money on the table.”
However, he did not offer a timeframe. Stimulus check 2 negotiations ended last Friday with both sides far apart on unemployment relief and overall spending.
That leaves stimulus check 2 up in the air. While all parties generally agree to send another round of $1,200 payments to eligible Americans, those benefits won’t happen without passing a larger relief bill.
As CNBC (opens in new tab) explains, an executive order from the White House cannot legally authorize spending for stimulus check 2. Even presidential unilateral action to continue federal unemployment benefits could face legal challenges.
Once a deal is reached, checks could go out within a week. The stimulus check 2 timeframe could range from late August to September, if the next relief bill is passed sometime this month.
How much could you receive with extended unemployment benefits?
The first round of federal unemployment benefits provided under the CARES Act expired in July, leaving millions of Americans who depended on that extra $600 per week without a clear path to relief.
Trump’s executive order extends federal unemployment benefits at $400 per week for the rest of 2020. In most cases, the federal government would cover $300 per week, while states would be expected to pay the additional $100.
However, Trump has also said that the federal government could make up the difference when states cannot. The federal part of the benefits comes from the Department of Homeland Security's disaster-relief fund.
Under the proposed extension, unemployment recipients would get $708 per week on average with federal and state benefits combined, according to CNBC (opens in new tab). Average weekly payments vary widely by state, however, with benefits as high as $456 (in Hawaii) and as low as $183 (in Louisiana).
Ongoing federal unemployment has been a sticking point for stimulus package negotiations. Democrats have pushed for continuing benefits at $600 per week, while Senate Republicans have put forth several proposals to reduce and then phase out the federal supplement over the course of two to four months.
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