Stimulus check proposal coming next week?

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About two months ago, the House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, which authorized $3 trillion in funding for various relief efforts including more stimulus checks.

Anybody who had been following the evolution of the stimulus packages knew that this act would not pass the Senate as is.

So we immediately were anticipating a counter-proposal from Republicans which looks like is now finally going to be revealed next week.

Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are set to present their proposal for another round of economic relief next week.

“We shouldn’t lightly add more to the national debt, but I’m predicting that we will have one more rescue package, which we’ll begin to debate and discuss next week,” McConnell said on Monday.

“When my members come back next week, we’ll start socializing it with them, begin to discuss it with the Democrats and start the legislative process… I think you can anticipate this coming to a head sometime within the next three weeks, beginning next week.”

We heard some talk about the White House wanting a proposal agreed to by July 20 but that timeline appears to be too ambitious.

Instead, it looks like Republican lawmakers are gearing up for 2 to 3 weeks of debates and discussions before they come to agreement on anything.

Congress is set to recess August 10 so this timeline would still fit into Congress passing something before their next recess (which is a month long).

If it does take until August for an agreement to be made and for the bill to be sent to the president to be signed into law, then we may not see stimulus checks until the end of August or early September.

With respect to stimulus checks, there are a few things we still don’t know.

First, we don’t know for sure that they will be passed although it seems extremely likely that they will.

Based on comments from those in the White House and in the Senate, it would be pretty shocking if more stimulus checks did not go out.

The tricky part is what kind of eligibility will be attached to these payments?

Senators have discussed focusing the income threshold at or around $40,000 per year which is significantly less than the $75,000 initial limit for the first checks.

“I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less,” McConnell said last Monday.

There have also been mixed signals about the amount that the stimulus checks will be with some wanting bigger payments and others hinting at smaller payments.

I think there are two reasons why we should be optimistic about the next round of stimulus checks.

First, the US is currently seeing record numbers of coronavirus cases coming in. Some states are having to shut back down and that has to be a factor in deciding on how much aid to send out to Americans.

Second, with elections just a couple of months away now, President Trump hast to realize that putting money back into the pockets of Americans will likely help his odds at the booth.

There are some competing forces at work like the unemployment rate that is still abysmal but improving. And despite a record number of cases, it seems like some businesses are still remaining open.

So we will see how law makers decide to proceed. I was hoping that they would have an agreement made close to July 20 but based on these recent comments it seems like this could drag out another two or three weeks after the 20th.

H/T

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