Second stimulus checks: Where things stand on $1,200 payments as August begins


WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 29: U.S. President Donald Trump’s name appears on the coronavirus economic assistance checks that were sent to citizens across the country April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. The initial 88 million payments totaling nearly $158 billion were sent by the Treasury Department last week as most of the country remains under stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR/AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the GOP coronavirus aid plan this week which included a second round of stimulus checks. However, there hasn’t been much movement in Washington this week, which means you’re no closer to receiving a new direct payment.

Members of the Trump Administration are meeting with Democratic leadership on Saturday. As of Friday night, both sides appeared far from reaching a deal on a wide-ranging relief package.

Principal negotiators—Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—convened again Saturday in hopes of breaking a weeklong stalemate.

“I’m hoping we’ll make progress and I think we will,” Pelosi said as she entered the Capitol.

On Friday, President Donald Trump took the issue to Twitter:

He continued:

McConnell’s $1 trillion HEALS Act proposal released this week was in stark contrast to a $3 trillion package previously approved by House Democrats.  At this point, the only thing both sides can agree on is that Congress must pass further relief in coming days and weeks.

“I’m not very optimistic that we will have any kind of an agreement on a comprehensive bill in the near future,” said Mark Meadows on Thursday. He said he even doubted a deal could be struck next week.

McConnell may have seen this coming. He warned the timeline for passing an aid package might be weeks and not days during an appearance last week in Ashland, Kentucky.

“Hopefully we can come together behind some package we can agree on in the next few weeks,” McConnell said, according to the Washington Post.

Not only has the process kept many unemployed Americans exposed with COVID-related insurance expiring this week but that means it would take that much longer for $1,200 direct payments to be distributed.

CNET estimated that if the GOP plan were to make it through Congress in the next few days, it’s possible checks would be distributed in mid to late August. 

However, McConnell’s timeline indicating “weeks” could potentially push the payments even later.

The Senate is set for a recess after August 7 that would run through Labor Day.

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