Bad news if you are hoping on another stimulus payment: it might not be coming. Though Republicans are talking about a summer stimulus package, they are not specifying that stimulus payments will be part of the deal. In other words, when Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says there’s a “strong likelihood” of another bill, that is not synonymous with putting a direct payment into your pocket. Stimulus checks were part of the last package, a vestige of the past.
“I think many Republicans are realizing that ‘stimulus’ checks are poorly targeted and not stimulative,” Adam Mitchel, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, told CNBC.
Indeed, an ongoing study by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University indicates that while people with under $500 in their bank account are spending the stimulus payments immediately, people with more than $3,000 in liquidity simply deposit them. The same study found that unemployment payments or universal income, to poorer people, may be more effective at stimulating the economy.
Though Democrats have supported additional stimulus payments—including in the HEROES Act, which passed the House and included up to $6,000-per-family in stimulus payments ($1,200 per adult and up to three dependents)—Republicans are banking on a swift economic recovery, and are keen on aid linked to employment, such as through cuts in payroll taxes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week that he is waiting a month to see how the economy reopens before designing another stimulus bill. But he, too, is not talking specifically about stimulus payments.