Democratic Victory Renews Hopes For $2,000 Stimulus Payments

The IRS only has until January 15 to distribute millions of $600 stimulus checks to eligible Americans. So far, they are about two-thirds of the way through the process (if you haven’t received yours yet, use the IRS Get My Payment tool), and Congressional leaders are already pushing for the much-hoped-for $2,000 payments. 

The demand for the third round of stimulus payments to qualifying taxpayers has grown louder and gained support from President Trump, Democratic lawmakers, and several GOP members. 

“One of the first things that I want to do when our new Senators are seated is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families,” former Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Wednesday in the Senate chamber. Schumer announced his new title as Senate Majority Leader ahead of the special runoff election results in Georgia.

While campaigning in Georiga to raise support for Reverend Raphael Warnock on Monday, President-elect Joe Biden told attendees, “Their election will put an end to the block in Washington on that $2,000 stimulus check. That money will go out the door immediately to people in real trouble.” 

Warnock and fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff beat Republicans Kelly Loeffler and incumbent David Perdue, shifting control of the Senate to Democrats. With Biden in office and a Congressional Democrat majority, a third stimulus check might be closer to reality than ever before. 

With victory secured for newly elected Warnock and Ossoff, the Senate is firmly in the Democrats’ favor. This eliminates many of the obstacles that would have otherwise prevented Biden from passing many of his policies. 

Biden has repeatedly stated he backs another round of direct payments for Americans. However, he has been reluctant to offer a price tag after his inauguration. Throughout the first part of his presidential race, Biden had recommended $1,200 payments, like those provided under the CARES Act last year.

On December 22, when stimulus talks were finally coming to a close, Biden said, “This bill is just the first step, a down payment, in addressing the crisis — crises, more than one — that we’re in.” But when a reporter pressed for more details about another stimulus deal and the amount of a third check, he responded, “That’s a negotiating issue… But it will, yes, it will.” 

Currently, it seems that Biden is giving more thought to $2,000 stimulus checks, particularly now that the Senate flipped in Democrats’ favor.

Three Ways A Third Stimulus Check Could Give You More Cash

The $600 stimulus checks were a disappointment for many people, especially those who have been hit hardest during the pandemic. Many had hoped for a minimum of $1,200 like the first round of payments. 

Most eligible adults will receive $600, and qualifying child dependents can receive $600 each. The IRS’s current criteria disqualify more people from getting the full amount because the formula places them in a higher income category. Because of this, many people will not be eligible for a second stimulus check. 

If the third round of checks is distributed, then:

 

  • More people would qualify for the third payment (specifically non-residents who still pay taxes)
  • Eligible households and individuals could receive a larger payment
  • More taxpayers would qualify for a smaller stimulus check since the income limit would increase relative to the $2,000 payment

 

Now that the results of the presidential election and Senate races are in, it’s a matter of waiting for Biden and the new Congress to get to work after Inauguration Day.

What Other Measures Would A Future Stimulus Package Include?

Biden has been clear in his initial economic stimulus goals throughout his campaign, and he would likely want lawmakers to examine those policies as well as those excluded from the recent $900 billion bill.

A few possible proposals that another stimulus package might contain include:

 

  • A $2,000 direct payment available to more Americans
  • Pushing the expiration date for supplemental unemployment benefits after March
  • Extending the eviction ban beyond January
  • Continued student loan deferrals or potential forgiveness
  • Additional funding for state and local governments
  • Funding for vaccine testing and distribution as well as contact tracing
  • Liability shields for organizations that reopen during the pandemic

 

More information will become available in the upcoming days and weeks.

 

Source
  • Dolcourt, Jessica. “$2,000 Third Stimulus Check Update: Pledges Intensify over a Bigger Payment.” CNET, CNET, 6 Jan. 2021, www.cnet.com/personal-finance/2000-third-stimulus-check-update-pledges-intensify-over-a-bigger-payment/.

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