For the past few weeks, stimulus checks have been showing up in the bank accounts and mailboxes of Americans citizens, as part of the government’s $2 trillion CARES Act passed in late March.
But with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to disrupt lives and business — and with U.S. employment at its highest rate since the Great Depression — many are wondering if another round of payouts could be coming.
The answer is possibly, thought not anytime soon.
The fourth economic stimulus package is currently being formulated by the Democratic members in the House of Representatives, who are reportedly favoring more aid to cash-strapped states and local governments, and more funding for expanded COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.
However, a group of three Senators — Bernie Sanders (I-Vt., Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) — today unveiled a plan that would dramatically expand on the CARES Act’s $1,200 payments.
Their plan, dubbed the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, would send a $2,000 check each month to Americans making less than $100,000. That amount could expand up to $4,000 for couples filing jointly, and also provide another $2,000 for each child up to three.
The payments would be considered retroactive as of March and would expire three months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic.
The likelihood of a monthly payment program gaining approval by the Republican-led Senate is slim. But even should it pass, it will be quite some time before Americans would have the cash in hand.
The fourth stimulus package must first make its way through House before the Senate can make its adjustments, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi estimates her party’s bill won’t come up for a vote until next week at the earliest.