After weeks of stalled negotiations and months of uncertainty, stimulus check 2 may be slowly inching closer to reality.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said on Sunday that Democrats and White House officials were "making progress" on a new relief package, The Hill reports (opens in new tab).
- Stimulus check 2: Status, latest news and how much you could get
- Stimulus check 2 date: Here's when you could get a direct payment
This hope comes on the heels of President Trump's hospitalization over the weekend due to the coronavirus, during which he tweeted (opens in new tab), "OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE."
OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!October 3, 2020
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed in late September to resume talks for a stimulus bill after walking away from negotiations in early August. The House then introduced, and late last week passed, a $2.2 trillion relief package, which includes stimulus check 2 and ongoing federal unemployment insurance.
The new legislation is a revised version of the earlier $3.4 trillion HEROES Act, which passed the House in May.
But on Monday, House Democrats were still waiting on a response from the White House, the Washington Post reported (opens in new tab). Mnuchin has tentatively offered a deal at $1.6 trillion, but the two sides were unable to agree about federal unemployment benefits and other spending.
What about the Senate?
The White House is negotiating on behalf of the Republican-controlled Senate, but Mnuchin's offer is already $500 billion higher than the maximum amount of spending many GOP senators said they could support back in July.
The Senate is out of session until Oct. 19. If a deal is reached in the coming days, lawmakers would have 24 hours to return to Washington for a vote.
Getting 60 votes to clear the Senate would probably require more Democratic votes than Republican ones, a GOP taboo that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is reluctant to break. The bill would also require the president's signature.
The Senate Judiciary Committee's first order of business is the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, although two of the GOP senators on the committee are currently quarantining after having tested positive for COVID-19.
A new Hill-Harris poll finds 74% of registered voters want the Senate to pass a stimulus package (opens in new tab) before taking up Barrett's nomination.
When would you get your stimulus payment?
So far, another $1,200 direct stimulus payment is still on the table. All sides have generally been supportive of stimulus check 2, and the House's most recent bill included the benefit.
If a deal does pass, Mnuchin has suggested that the IRS needs about a week to process payments — so at the earliest, we're looking at the first direct deposits going out in late October.
There are still millions of potentially eligible Americans who, because of their tax paperwork, may not have received any stimulus benefits. The IRS in recent weeks has been notifying those who may qualify for undistributed checks.
If you received a letter from the agency, or if you simply believe you qualify, enter your information into the tool on IRS.gov before Oct. 15 to find out if you have outstanding benefits.