Stimulus negotiations between Democratic lawmakers and White House officials have stalled, leaving the timing of another $1,200 check for many Americans uncertain.
Senate Republicans are even considering a proposal without any type of direct payment. But even if stimulus check 2 is approved, some are concerned that cutbacks at the U.S. Postal Service could further delay relief.
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Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has come under fire in recent weeks for proposing and implementing cost-cutting measures at the USPS, such as taking mailboxes and sorting machines out of commission and cutting overtime pay.
While DeJoy has said he will suspend these controversial changes (opens in new tab) until November to minimize the impact on mail-in voting and other critical mail services, it’s not clear if there will be slowdowns in the coming months anyway.
Approximately 80% of stimulus payments are sent via direct deposit rather than physical checks, CNBC reports (opens in new tab). But for the 20% of Americans who receive their payments by mail, even a short delay may be detrimental.
Funding for the USPS is being considered by both House and Senate lawmakers. House members are returning to Washington from their home districts this weekend to vote on a $25 billion relief package, and a new proposal from Senate Republicans would give $10 billion to the Postal Service as part of a larger stimulus bill.
Is stimulus check 2 coming?
Democrats and White House officials quit talking nearly two weeks ago and have no clear plans to return to stimulus negotiations. All parties generally agreed on the need for stimulus check 2, with various proposals floating around the House and Senate to provide another $1,200 payment to Americans who received benefits under the earlier CARES Act.
However, as the amount of federal unemployment benefits and the total cost of a relief package have left the two sides at odds, a small group of Senate Republicans has pitched legislation that would leave out stimulus check 2 entirely.
The “skinny” bill allows for a $300 weekly unemployment supplement through the end of the year for out-of-work individuals, but no direct lump-sum payments for other Americans.
How much is stimulus check 2?
Both of the major bills for stimulus check 2 would send another $1,200 to low- and middle-income individuals who qualified for relief under the CARES Act. In addition, families with dependents of any age — not just children 16 and under — would see some additional benefits.
The House-approved HEROES Act would provide an additional $1,200 for each dependent up to a maximum of $6,000 per family, while Senate Republicans’ HEALS Act would send $500 per dependent with no benefit cap.