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A major change might make your next $1,200 stimulus check much bigger

Published Oct 14th, 2020 1:29PM EDT
Stimulus check update
Image: cabania/Adobe

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  • The latest stimulus check update from the White House is good news for anyone hoping for a new round of $1,200 stimulus checks.
  • The latest Trump administration proposal would raise the add-on benefit per child to $1,000, making for the possibility of much bigger checks for families.
  • However, Republican stimulus proposals still face staunch opposition in the House, from Speaker Nancy Pelosi who is refusing to allow a vote.

The White House has floated a major change to the way stimulus check amounts are calculated, such that some families could get a lot more than $1,200 next time around — if Congress would ever get around to passing a new coronavirus relief package, that is.

The latest stimulus check update from the White House includes relatively good news for the millions of Americans waiting and hoping for a new round of stimulus checks. We say relatively, though, because it’s only good news in a theoretical sense for now. As we’ve laid out in multiple posts previously, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have been at an impasse for months over new stimulus legislation, largely centered around Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to allow Republican stimulus bills to come up for a vote in the House until they check all the boxes that she wants — namely, that they be multi-trillion-dollar packages representing comprehensive, all-in-one relief along the lines of March’s $2.2 trillion CARES Act.

Republicans, however, don’t want to go that high again and prefer to pass more targeted, narrowly focused packages — such as a single bill that would fund new stimulus checks.

Remember the first stimulus checks, which gave individuals $1,200, married couples $2,400, and also let parents add another $500 for eligible children? Some of the previous White House stimulus offers, which ended up going nowhere, expanded the definition of who a taxpayer could claim as a dependent for the purposes of this extra money, though the money itself would stay the same (at $500). An October 9 proposal from the White House, however, makes an even bigger change — proposing $1,000 payments for those dependents which would be added to the overall $1,200 stimulus payment.

The problem, however, is that any progress on a new stimulus bill keeps running into the same roadblock in the House — Pelosi’s refusal to allow anything less than an all-or-nothing deal to get a vote in the House. As we noted here, the House Speaker even got into an epic spat on-air yesterday with CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer, berating him as a GOP “apologist” who is wrong to ask the speaker to make a deal over a bill narrowly tailored to stimulus checks.

Pelosi doesn’t just want to give her members a vote on stimulus checks. She wants the bill to include benefits for airlines, state and local governments, and much more.

In a letter to colleagues, the Speaker blasted the White House’s proposals for falling “significantly short of what this pandemic and deep recession demand.”

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.