Democrats and Republicans are hashing out another round of coronavirus aid, and both sides want a new round of payments to American households. This is where things stand.
President Trump and lawmakers agree that Americans should get a second round of direct payments as part of fresh coronavirus-relief legislation, following the checks delivered in the spring. Senate Republicans included checks in their proposal this week, similar in many ways to Democrats’ proposal from May.
Here is a look at the prospect and timing of Americans receiving more direct aid from the federal government.
Q: What are Republicans proposing?
A: In their $1 trillion plan, Republicans are proposing sending another $1,200 check to the same group of Americans that received the cash in the spring. As with the first round of checks, the payments would start phasing out for those with income above $75,000 in adjusted gross income for individuals, $112,500 for heads of household (often single parents) and $150,000 for married couples.
The Republican plan includes another $500 for each child, but would expand the definition of dependents eligible for aid to include adult dependents, those over 16. That means more money for parents of college students and people who take care of their elderly parents; they didn’t qualify for the first round of payments.
Other groups excluded from the first round, such as people who owe ]back child support and people whose households include illegal immigrants, would still disqualify. The proposal also would clarify that people who died before 2020 aren’t eligible for payments.
Q: What are Democrats proposing?
A: In a $3.5 trillion bill passed in May, House Democrats proposed sending $1,200 payments to Americans, with $2,400 available for joint tax filers. They would boost the payment for families to $1,200 for each dependent, up to a maximum of $6,000 a household. Like the Republican proposal, the Democratic plan would gradually phase out the payments for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of over $75,000 a year and married couples with incomes greater than $150,000.
Q: What is the president pushing for?
A: Mr. Trump has voiced support for another round of payments.
Q: How much has the federal government already sent Americans?
A: Under the coronavirus-relief package passed earlier this year, most American households received stimulus payments worth $1,200 for most adults and $500 a child to help them weather the economic fallout. The Internal Revenue Service said last month that more than 159 million Americans have received payments, totaling about $267 billion, with 120 million payments made by direct deposit, 35 million by check and four million by prepaid debit card.
Q: Will there be limits on who gets a second round of payments?
A: Upper-income households won’t be eligible. Also, in the initial round of direct payments, if a married couple filed their taxes jointly and a parent or spouse lacked a Social Security number—whether because they are in the country illegally or for other reasons—the entire family was ineligible for a direct payment. An exception was made for military families. Democrats’ new bill makes these households eligible for payments, but it isn’t known whether such a proposal would survive in any eventual deal with Republicans.
Q: When will Americans know if they should expect another check?
A: Congress now needs to negotiate and reach a deal to pass legislation that includes the checks, and then Mr. Trump needs to sign it into law. In the spring, it took about two weeks after the law was signed for the first direct deposits to reach bank accounts and longer for people who don’t file tax returns or received paper checks and debit cards. Because the IRS has more bank-account information now and information from more households, many people might get payments faster than they did the first time around.
|For more news you can use to help guide your financial life, visit our Insights page.|