Trump says he’s open to more stimulus checks. What to know before you count on the money

Personal Finance

U.S. President Donald Trump signs H.R. 748, the CARES Act in the Oval Office of the White House on March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Erin Schaff | Getty Images

A political fight is brewing on Capitol Hill over what  the next coronavirus stimulus package will look like.

But President Donald Trump made it clear this week another round of stimulus checks should be on the table.

Trump answered affirmatively when asked in an interview this week whether Americans will receive more checks.

“We will be doing another stimulus package,” Trump said. “It’ll be very good. It’ll be very generous.”

Yet before any checks go out in the mail, they would need  a green light from Congress. Plus, Americans may face another wait before they see the money.

What comes next

There are several possibilities for what could go into the next stimulus package, including expanded unemployment benefits and back-to-work bonuses.

The support for these initiatives are drawn very clearly along party lines.

House Democrats passed a generous bill called the HEROES Act, which would include extending the extra $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits to January and sending another round of $1,200 stimulus checks worth up to $6,000 per family.

Meanwhile, Republicans have taken a more cautious view on spending, calling for prioritizing incentives like back-to-work bonuses instead of enhanced unemployment benefits, which they say could discourage people from returning to work.

Now, however, talk of more direct payments to individuals is gaining steam within the administration.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said this week that both tax rebates and more stimulus checks are on the table for consideration in the next relief bill.

The first round of stimulus checks cost an estimated $300 billion.

Despite the hefty price tag, Trump’s blessing may help usher in a second set of checks, said Bill Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

“While such payments are not always best targeted on those needing such payments and will add to an already significant federal deficit for the current year, in a recession and an election year, the probability of them be enacted with the president’s support is high,” Hoagland said.

What the timeline could look like

Washington lawmakers may not get started on negotiations until late July, so the next round of payments would not likely commence until August at the earliest.

The good news is that a second round of checks would likely have a quicker deployment time than the first, said Garrett Watson, senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation.

As with the first round of checks, those who have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS will likely be first in line to get the money.

“Folks who have that information with the IRS probably would get it within a few weeks after the legislation passed,” Watson said.

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Others may get the second checks more quickly, he noted. That includes beneficiaries of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Veterans Administration, following the government’s efforts to get information on those individuals.

Notably, some people are still waiting to get their first checks. That could portend another wait for some people.

The discussions come as the July 15 federal income tax filing deadline approaches. That could give taxpayers who don’t have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS the chance to do so.

“I think that is a good opportunity to get that information in ahead of the rebate,” Watson said.

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