A SECOND coronavirus stimulus check could be sent out as early as August, if the Senate acts quickly before the congressional recess.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will begin debating another economic relief bill as soon as next week.
“Next week, we’ll be beginning a new bill,” the Republican senator from Kentucky said.
“We’re obviously out of session this week, but when my members come back next week we’ll start socializing it with them, begin to discuss it with the Democrats and start the legislative process.”
The senator continued: “I think you can anticipate this coming to a head sometime within the next three weeks, beginning next week.”
McConnell has said the legislation would cost around $1trillion, and said it would be more contentious than previous stimulus bills.
He said he predicted: “I do think we’ll get there and do something that needs to be done” before Congress begins their recess in August.
If the Senate votes quickly enough, a second round of checks could be sent out to Americans as soon as August.
McConnell has floated the idea that only those who make under $40,000 would receive a second stimulus check.
“I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less,” the senator recently said.
“Many of them work in the hospitality industry … so that could well be a part of it.”
In April, the federal government began sending out $1,200 checks to Americans who made under $75,000.
The payment steadily declined for those who make more, and those earning more than $99,000, or $198,000 for joint filers, weren’t eligible.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said last Thursday that President Donald Trump’s priority has been getting another round of stimulus checks passed — within the next 10 days.
“We do support another round of economic impact payments,” he told CNBC.
“We’re discussing the criteria with the Senate, and had a productive talk with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”
He then went on to say that the Trump administration will work “on a bipartisan basis with Republicans and Democrats” on passing the bill.
Mnuchin also labeled the check legislation a “priority” to have passed in the next ten days.
Congress resumes on July 20, but goes on recess again from August 10 to September 7.
That leaves a window of 15 working days between the July and August recesses for Congress to give the green light on another check.
As noted by Forbes, Congress has passed four major pieces of legislation aimed at benefitting Americans in a downturned economy since coronavirus hit the US earlier this year.
The third of the bills was the $2.2trillion Cares Act — one of the most expensive pieces of legislation in US history — which was signed by Trump in March.
The Cares Act included the $1,200 stimulus checks sent to Americans.
In May, the House of Representatives passed the $3trillion Heroes Act, which “included everything from more stimulus checks to an extension for the expanded unemployment program to more aid for states.”
But since then, the legislation has been “largely ignored by the Republican-led Senate and is virtually guaranteed to fail in that chamber in its current form.”
McConnell has said of the upcoming legislation that it would cost no more than $1trillion — despite the $3trillion Heroes Act House Democrats voted on in May.
The Senate majority leader has said he wants to focus on “protections for business, schools, and other entities as they reopen their operations.”