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Second stimulus checks won’t be coming anytime soon. Here’s the latest update

Even if Congress can pass a second economic stimulus package relatively soon, it could be months before Americans receive any funds.

Second stimulus checks won’t be coming anytime soon. Here’s the latest update
[Photo: Louis Velazquez/Unsplash]

Back in March, the U.S. government passed an unprecedented stimulus package to help Americans weather the economic bomb the COVID-19 pandemic dropped on the economy. Everything from loans to small businesses to direct economic impact payments to individuals was included in the package.

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However, Democrats, and even some Republicans, have long argued that the one-off package isn’t going to be enough to get Americans through the crisis. Specifically, many are arguing that a second round of economic impact payments, known better as “stimulus checks,” will be necessary. In the first package, individuals benefited from stimulus checks worth up to $1,200, while those finding themselves unemployed could get up to $600 more each week in unemployment benefits.

But what would those offerings look like in a second stimulus package and when would they arrive? Thanks to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaking to the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship this week, we have a good idea. As CNBC reports, Mnuchin told the committee, “I definitely think we are going to need another bipartisan legislation to put more money into the economy”—but don’t expect such legislation to come before the end of July.

So, what could a second stimulus package include when it finally comes?

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  • Another round of stimulus checks: The checks would be for up to $1,200 each again, but this time a family could get up to $6,000 in stimulus money. That’s $2,400 for each married couple and an additional $1,200 each for up to three children.
  • A return-to-work bonus: In order to encourage people to go back to their jobs instead of taking unemployment, some Republicans have suggested a $450-per-week “return-to-work” bonus. For how many weeks someone returning to work would get this bonus is unknown. Other Republicans have suggested a one-time $1,200 return-to-work bonus.
  • Extending unemployment benefits: The current extra $600 per week unemployment payments are scheduled to expire in July. A second stimulus package may extend this extra unemployment benefit, though the amount is up in the air. Of course, the extra unemployment benefit could be dropped entirely.

The bad news is that even if Congress can agree on and pass a second stimulus package by the end of July, it could be months before those emergency funds are in the bank accounts of Americans who need the money now.

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About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com

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