If there’s no second stimulus check in the next rescue bill, you might still benefit


Sometime this week, Republican and Democratic negotiators are expected to once again roll up their sleeves and wrangle a stimulus package. Negotiations have already dragged on for six months, mired by deep partisan divisions. How successful they’ll be as 2020 winds down is anyone’s guess.

The pressing need to deliver more aid and the frustrations that another COVID-19 relief bill still might not happen, has alarmed US leaders and health experts alike as the country barrels toward a “dark winter” of surging coronavirus cases and impending economic hardship. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that the US could reach a death toll of over 320,000 by mid-December.

In an effort to get something done, a growing number of Democratic and Republican lawmakers are pushing for Congress to pass a smaller bill than the one Democrats have backed since May, which could extend some of the most critical programs set to expire at the end of the year. A scaled-back, short-term aid package could leave out the popular second economic stimulus check. After President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20, his administration could then seek a larger, follow-up bill.

For months, Democratic leaders have rejected the idea of smaller, targeted bill — something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has referred to as half a loaf —  but with the the Senate and House of Representatives meeting for just a handful of days before the end of the year, a smaller bill may be the only path forward to broker a deal before the end of the year.

“We need to do this now,” said Senator Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “We need to continue the funding for the vaccine, the delivery of the vaccine… Direct money to struggling families would be helpful and some of extension of unemployment.”

But a second stimulus check worth up to $1,200 per person might not make the cut. (And a payment could bring you less money than before.) Those arguing against it suggest another direct payment may not be necessary in light of a forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine that signals an eventual return to work and the kind of spending that drives the economy. However, very few people will get the vaccine as soon as it’s ready and wider distribution in mid-2021 is still months away.

After months of fruitless debate, what does it mean if another stimulus check doesn’t come? We’ve looked at the other benefits a new stimulus package could bring you, even without a $1,200 per qualified adult. This story is regularly updated with new information…Read more>>