The second stimulus check could be getting a stimulus of its own. While Congress approved and President Trump signed off on legislation that would provide up to $600 for eligible Americans, the House is set to vote today on a measure that would increase the payout to as much as $2,000 per person.
Trump signed the Covid relief bill — which also includes funds for vaccine distribution, small businesses, and financing for government operations through the end of the fiscal year — after threatening to veto the legislation. However, he did not sign the bill until Sunday, four days after receiving it from lawmakers, and less than two days before it would have necessitated a government shutdown.
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During House and Senate negotiations over the relief bill, both parties haggled over the size of direct payments, with Democrats arguing for the larger, $2,000 figure. Despite Trump calling the bill a "disgrace" and demanding the checks be increased to $2,000, Republicans in Congress resisted his entreaties.
As it stands, the current stimulus bill would provide $600 stimulus payments and partially partly restore the enhanced federal unemployment benefit, which offers $300 for at least 10 weeks — half of what was offered in the original CARES Act.
Like the original stimulus bill, Americans who reported an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 on their 2019 tax returns will receive $600; the head of a household making up to $112,500, or couples who make up to $150,000 a year will receive a check for $1,200. They will also receive $600 for each dependent child.
While the House plans to vote on increasing the stimulus payments to $2,000 per person, as of Monday morning it was unclear if the Republican-led Senate would do the same. While Trump said in a statement the Senate would also start a similar process, majority leader Mitch McConnell made no mention of it in his own statement on Sunday.