Stimulus check 2 chances are looking a lot better — here's why

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Congressional lawmakers and Trump administration officials last week agreed to return to the negotiating table with the hope of reaching a deal on a stimulus package, including stimulus check 2 — and at least one side is optimistic about the chances of reaching a consensus. 

Appearing on CNN's State of the Union show  yesterday (Sept. 27), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said she believes Democrats can reach an agreement with the White House, which is being represented in negotiations by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. 

"I believe we can come to an agreement," Pelosi told CNN's Jake Tapper.

The two sides broke off talks in early August after failing to find a compromise on the total cost of a second bill and until last week had only spoken over the phone. 

House Democrats passed a $3.4 trillion stimulus package — the HEROES Act — in May, but Senate Republicans and administration officials balked at the overall spending as well as some specific provisions in the bill. 

Over the summer, Pelosi reduced the Democrats’ request to $2.2 trillion, while the White House indicated a willingness to spend $1.5 trillion (and possibly more) on a second round of benefits. However, the two sides were unable to close the $700 billion gap, and Senate Republicans also failed to move anything forward. 

Under pressure from other lawmakers as Election Day nears, Pelosi has reopened the door for a deal and committed to keeping the House in session to do so, allowing lawmakers to vote remotely if necessary. 

“I’d rather have a deal that puts money in people’s pockets than to have a rhetorical argument,” Pelosi said, according to the CNN transcript of her appearance. “What we will be putting forth is a proffer to say, now let us negotiate within a time frame and a dollar amount to get the job done.”

How to claim your first stimulus check

If you haven’t received your first stimulus check provided by the CARES Act passed last spring, you still have a few weeks to claim it using the IRS’s non-filers tool

As of early September, nearly 9 million Americans — mostly older individuals or heads of low-income families who don’t typically file tax returns — were still waiting on their initial $1,200 payment. 

The IRS last week began notifying those who may be eligible for undistributed checks. If you received a letter from the agency, or if you simply believe you qualify for an outstanding payment, enter your information into the tool on before Oct. 15 to find out if you should receive benefits. 

If you’re eligible, you can enter the details of your bank account to get a direct deposit. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for a paper check to come in the mail.   

There’s also a group of beneficiaries who missed out on dependent benefits due to an error in child-support payment calculations. Use the same non-filers tool before Sept. 30 to claim these payments.  

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.