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Let’s talk about who might get a new stimulus check

Published Sep 3rd, 2020 1:45PM EDT
New stimulus check
Image: Andy Dean/Adobe
  • Seven out of 10 Americans favor Congress passing a new bill that includes funding for most people to get a new stimulus check.
  • That’s according to Gallup, which has published the results of a new survey showing wide, bipartisan support for new stimulus checks.
  • Here’s a look at who could be eligible to receive such a benefit under a new coronavirus stimulus bill.

Congress might not have found enough common cause yet when it comes to passing legislation providing for new stimulus checks, but the American people sure seem to be of one accord, or nearly, on this issue of providing direct payments to people suffering right now because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, Gallup released the results of a new survey showing that fully 7 out of 10 Americans think Congress should get its act together and pass a new stimulus bill that includes funding for a second round of stimulus checks. In terms of how the Gallup results actually break down on a partisan basis, Democrats were much more likely to favor the new stimulus checks (82% of respondents), while some 64% of Republicans are on board with this idea. Bottom line, though, most on both sides think this is something that needs to be done for eligible Americans. So, about that — who should be eligible?

We can actually make some good guesses about that. The House of Representatives has already passed the so-called HEROES Act, but a companion bill is still languishing in the Senate that’s called the HEALS Act. Coupled with what Congress already passed earlier this year (the CARES Act), we can get a pretty good idea of who will most likely be eligible for a new stimulus check once the Senate finishes its work on this issue — if it ever does.

The idea will be to word the language as broadly as possible to support payments to as expansive a group of people as possible. So, individual taxpayers as well as married couples would be in the mix (as long as individuals don’t make more than $99,000/year or $198,000 for married couples, based on language that’s already been put forward).

What about children who are dependents? It will be interesting to watch the final language here — the HEROES Act provided coverage for up to three dependents, while no limit was mentioned in the HEALS Act. The CARES Act, which Congress passed back at the end of March, also provides a hint at the direction Congress might take in terms of other kinds of eligibility. For example, US citizens living abroad were eligible for stimulus payments under the CARES Act, as were non-tax filers and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients.

As we noted yesterday, a key Trump administration official, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, told a House subcommittee this week that he’s hopeful a bipartisan agreement of some sort on a new stimulus bill will be able to be achieved soon.

“We will continue to work with the Senate and House on a bipartisan basis for a phase four relief package,” Mnuchin said Tuesday, during a hearing of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, adding his hope that an agreement would include funding for priorities like schools, vaccines, and child care. “I believe a bipartisan agreement still should be reached.”

Andy Meek
Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter 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.