The months-long political stalemate over the passage of a second round of coronavirus stimulus relief has finally come to an end and many Americans are poised to receive a one-time $600 stimulus check, but when?
The Trump administration is rushing to send the payments to millions of Americans beginning as soon as this week, according to the Washington Post.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had promised on December 21 to begin sending the checks this week, though that plan was thrown into disarray after President Trump refused to sign the stimulus package, arguing at the eleventh hour that Americans should receive a $2,000 stimulus check in place of the $600 check, among other demands.
Trump ultimately signed the bill without further negotiation on Sunday, though the Democrat-controlled House on Monday passed a bill to increase the stimulus by $1,400 for adults.
However, the bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate due to Republican concerns about the deficit.
While some Americans waited weeks or even months to receive their $1,200 stimulus checks in the spring, the Treasury Department expects to be able to dispatch this round of checks more quickly using infrastructure formed and lessons learned at the time.
In the spring, Americans who had previously received their federal tax refunds through direct deposit tended to receive their stimulus checks ahead of those receiving paper checks. However, in the months since, more Americans have filed their tax returns electronically, so, the government is likely to issue far fewer paper checks, according to the report.
The IRS will also benefit from banking information provided through its “Get My Payment” portal during the first round of checks. While the portal isn’t currently open, the IRS says it “continues to monitor and prepare for new legislation related to Economic Impact Payments.”
Electronic deposits could begin Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Washington Post. Timing could, however, be impacted by the holiday as a number of banks are closed or working with limited staffing.
Single people earning up to $75,000 can expect to receive $600, while married couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $1,200. The payments then phase out, with a $5 reduction for every $100 of income earned above those thresholds, before being eliminated entirely for single people earning over $87,000 or married couples earning more than $174,000 according to the House Appropriations committee.
While federal agencies had been preparing for a potential government shutdown as it was unclear that a deal would be met and signed off by the president ahead of the deadline, they have now switched gears to delivering the $900 billion in funds appropriated by the package in the final days of the Trump administration.
Trump, Vice President Pence and Mnuchin are all on vacation this week, though Mnuchin and Trump have been in contact, according to the Washington Post.