As rising numbers of coronavirus cases around the county send many states into lockdown, the resumption of stimulus check 2 negotiations could be good news for small businesses and low-earning individuals.
On Friday (Nov. 20), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC (opens in new tab) that he and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were scheduled to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) to work on a "targeted bill," or slimmed-down stimulus package.
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Following the talks with Republican leaders, Mnuchin said he next plans to reconvene with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) to move legislation along.
"We are going to come up with a plan to sit down with Pelosi and Schumer and try to get a targeted bill done for the people that really need it," Mnuchin said.
Such a bill would likely be less than the $2 trillion revised HEROES bill that Pelosi was insisting on up until Election Day. Mnuchin, negotiating on behalf of the Republican side, came close to matching Pelosi's number but failed to agree with her on the amount of aid for cash-starved states and municipalities and whether to create liability protections for businesses.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans made clear that they would not pass any bill higher than $500 billion. Two "skinny" bills introduced in the Senate did not contain provisions for stimulus check 2, and Democrats killed them on procedural votes.
Mnuchin's announcement today comes after weeks of mixed messages about whether another stimulus package could be passed prior to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration in January 2021.
Given President Donald Trump's efforts to challenge the results of the presidential election and Congress's pressure to pass next year's federal government budget ahead of a Dec. 11 deadline, the fate of a second stimulus check seemed unclear.
But now it appears the influx of coronavirus cases can no longer be second place when it comes to lawmakers' priorities. With more than 11 million total cases (opens in new tab)and over 250,000 deaths in the U.S. since the pandemic began, there's no end in sight.
Small businesses and low-earning taxpayers have waited for relief since the government passed the first stimulus check and CARES Act in March. If Mnuchin's comments are any indication, these establishments and people might not have to wait much longer.
Stimulus check deadline: Claim your payment now
As we inch closer to the framework of stimulus check 2, the IRS is still sending out $1,200 checks and $500 dependent supplements to people who haven't received their benefits from the initial round.
Somewhere around 9 million eligible people, have not received the $1,200 stimulus check provided by the CARES Act. While the IRS said it will send letters to remind qualifying individuals, you can still use the non-filers tool on IRS.gov (opens in new tab) to check your eligibility if you think you're owed a payment.
If you're eligible for an outstanding payment, be sure to complete your request by Nov. 21. If you don't enter bank-account information so that you can receive a direct deposit, then you'll be mailed a paper check instead.