Stimulus update: Congress is nearing a deal that includes $600 checks

Republican and Democratic leaders are hashing out the final details of another massive economic aid package. And it looks like the final deal should include another stimulus checks for most Americans.

Unlike the CARES Act, which sent out $1,200 checks to most Americans, this go around stimulus checks are expected to be $600 per taxpayer, the Washington Post reports. The package is also expected to send $600 per dependent, including adult dependents. If that passes, it would mean a married couple with two dependents could expect a check up to $2,400.

Drew Hammill, the spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted last night that the Speaker, Leader Schumer, and Secretary Mnuchin spoke at 10:30 p.m. as “part of a series of phone conversations to complete the COVID relief negotiations,” and that they would continue discussions Thursday morning. CNN reported that “On a conference call with Senate Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats are pushing to get the deal done immediately. ‘Chuck was very adamant about shooting for tomorrow at midnight,’ said Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat.”

If checks are indeed included the package, eligibility would be the same as the CARES Act, the Washington Post reports. That means these stimulus checks would decrease for adjusted gross income above $75,000 per individual or $150,000 per qualified couple. And the checks would phase out for individuals earning above $99,000, head of household filers with one child above $146,500, and joint filers with no children at $198,000.

Talks kicked into high-gear this week after Republicans backed off of their request for COVID-19 lawsuit immunity for businesses being included in this bill, and Democrats sidelined their demand for state and local government funding. The bill is expected to be in the ballpark of $900 billion. A final agreement rest of the on the two sides working through details for items like pandemic unemployment benefits and mortgage/rent moratoriums.

If the last go-around is any indication, the first of the checks would start to be deposited within two weeks of the legislation passing. After the passage of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act on March 27, Americans started to receive their stimulus checks as early as the week of April 13.

The long waits for stimulus checks shouldn’t happen this time. Back in the spring, millions of Americans, including those on Social Security, saw their checks delayed until they provided additional information. Since this payment would be based on the same tax year, it’s unlikely more information will need to be verified—at least among those who received their first round of payments.

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