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When will more coronavirus stimulus checks go out? You won’t like the answer

Published May 14th, 2020 11:50AM EDT
Coronavirus stimulus checks
Image: Erin Schaff/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
  • Though millions of Americans are still waiting to receive their coronavirus stimulus checks, which were part of the $2.2 trillion emergency relief bill Congress passed at the end of March, congressional leaders are ready to debate an all-new emergency bill that could include money for a new round of direct payments to Americans
  • This new coronavirus stimulus package, however, may not end up resembling the last coronavirus stimulus in at least one respect, however — Republicans seem less inclined for this bill to be as large, which might put the idea of new stimulus checks in danger.
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A spokesman for US Senate finance committee chairman Chuck Grassley told NBC News this week that a massive new coronavirus stimulus package pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and headed toward a vote tomorrow will be “DOA in the Senate.” For those of you hoping Congress might fund an additional round of direct coronavirus stimulus payments, following up on the first round of checks as large as $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, that might be bad news.

Why? For starters, the $2.2 trillion measure Congress passed back in March was, at the time, the biggest such emergency relief legislation in US history. This new bill — which, among other things, proposes giving as much as $6,000 to households — would be even bigger. It’s a 1,800-page bill that also includes funding for everything from aid to state and local governments ($875 billion) and an extra $75 billion for coronavirus testing, as well as $75 billion for mortgage relief.

Americans have already responded to surveys saying that most people could already use stimulus check #2. However, deep partisan fault lines are starting to imply that won’t happen anytime soon, with both sides essentially splitting as follows:

Not that anyone has forgotten, but a presidential election is coming up in November, and Democrats want to use every opportunity to paint themselves as on the side of average Americans, which is the reason for stuffing as much as possible into this new proposed stimulus package. Republicans, however, now seem to be more eager to retreat to their standard position of concern about over-spending, with many already on record as expressing hesitation about voting for any new emergency spending until June.

Both of those are over-simplifications, but that’s a basic outline of where the US response to the coronavirus crisis at the federal level goes from here.

This newly proposed coronavirus stimulus legislation — which proposes another $1,200 for adults who make less than $75,000 and $2,400 for married couples who make less than $150,000 — will most likely be passed on a party-line vote, possibly as soon as Friday. And while this legislation is all but certain to face a buzz saw of opposition in the Senate, it also can’t be stressed enough that there are still millions of Americans who haven’t been paid yet though the first iteration of this program.

Check the IRS’ “Get My Payment” web tool to see the status of your coronavirus stimulus check. It’s updated once a day, so no need to check it more often than that.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.