Monday’s new stimulus check proposal: How much money could you receive?

Could a second stimulus check bring more relief money than the first? Less? The same amount? Sarah Tew/CNET We’re just two days away from learning every detail about the Senate Republicans’ plan for the next economic rescue package, which is expected to be announced on Monday. Likely to be called CARES 2, […]

cash funds running out of money change dollars wallet empty

Could a second stimulus check bring more relief money than the first? Less? The same amount?

Sarah Tew/CNET

We’re just two days away from learning every detail about the Senate Republicans’ plan for the next economic rescue package, which is expected to be announced on Monday. Likely to be called CARES 2, the proposed legislation will include a second stimulus check — but how much money will be in it is still up for debate.

The Senate’s proposal might use the stimulus check guidelines that the CARES Act enacted in March, which means that eligible individuals could receive up to $1,200 and up to $3,400 for a family of four ($500 for dependents under 17). But there’s no guarantee that this is what will happen, because the Senate still needs to debate the details with Democrats in the House of Representatives after the plan is presented — and it’s expected to become heated.

The Senate is currently looking at a $1 trillion cap and the House is seeking three times as much in aid, so the Congressional bodies are quite far apart in their monetary thinking at the moment. We don’t know how much money will be in the direct payments, but there are some clues worth taking a look at right now.

This story is updated often with new information.

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How big could a second stimulus check get?

Over the past months, leaders in Washington have suggested different stimulus ideas and dollar amounts for qualifying individuals. 

Here are the proposals that we’ve heard so far and how likely we think they could be, now that the Senate has joined the White House and House of Representatives in supporting another direct payment. Of course, another stimulus check isn’t a done deal and anything could happen between now and the final bill.

Second stimulus check proposals

Amount Proposer Proposal details How likely?
$0 White House Payroll tax cut so workers keep more of their paychecks. Unlikely to replace stimulus check.
$0 White House Business tax break for companies who don’t furlough workers. Unlikely to replace stimulus check.
Less than $1,200 White House Smaller checks targeted at low-income Americans. Possible if the final package is smaller.
$1,200 House of Representatives Part of the Heroes Act passed by the House in May (not law). Possible, with fewer people qualifying.
More than $1,200 White House Stated by President Donald Trump. Less likely, but possible.
$2,000 a month till economy recovers More than 150 economists “Emergency Money” payment for Americans to continue spending, one road to economic recovery. Open-ended payments unlikely to pass.
$2,000 a month till three months after pandemic ends Sen. Kamala Harris Payments through the end of the pandemic and three months after. Open-ended payments unlikely to pass.
$2,000 a month for up to 12 months Rep. Ro Khanna Monthly payments up to a year. The Senate is unlikely to agree to a sum this large, even with an expiration date.
$4,000 travel tax credit White House A temporary tax credit to cover individual and family travel expenses, meant to rev up local economies. Unlikely to replace stimulus check.

A second payment for the same amount as the first?

According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Senate is considering an identical payment structure to the CARES Act, which gave up to $1,200 for qualifying individuals, based on the income calculated in their most recent tax filing. 

“Our proposal is the exact same provision as last time,” Mnuchin told reporters Thursday, according to Bloomberg. 

Using the same guidelines could potentially be one less obstacle in negotiations and speed up the delivery of the check, getting it into more hands and bank accounts faster than if negotiations drags on. After all, the IRS already developed a system to deliver the CARES-authorized checks.

Is there any chance the second stimulus check could be smaller?

Earlier this month, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said a second stimulus payment won’t be as much as the first. That was July 10. It aligns with earlier statements from McConnell, who has indicated that the next stimulus package will have a $1 trillion cap.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, made her disagreement clear.

“A trillion dollars is … an interesting starting point, but it doesn’t come anywhere near,” Pelosi said July 9. “We need $1 trillion for state and local [assistance]. We need another $1 trillion for unemployment insurance and direct payments. We need something like that, but probably not as much, for the [coronavirus] testingtracing, treatment,” she said. “What doesn’t measure up is, ‘Oh, it can only be a trillion dollars.'”

McConnell had previously stressed that the focus of another bill will be narrow. Republican senators are focused on including incentives to bring people back to work. The final total is anything but decided.

cash funds running out of money change dollars wallet empty

The president said he supports another round of direct payments.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The White House stance: A bigger second check

The president has, over the past several weeks, made statements advocating a second round of direct payment to Americans.

“I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats,” Trump said July 1, referring to the $1,200-per-person amount the Democrat-led House proposed in May. The Washington Post reported in June that the president has told aides he is largely supportive of sending a second round of checks to Americans.

Kudlow told Fox Business this month, “Direct checks are probably going to be part of it, as far as the president is concerned right now.”

Mnuchin also expressed support, telling reporters at a White House briefing, “We’re going to serious[ly] consider whether we’re going to put more payments and direct payments over. It worked very well.”

Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell made the case for more stimulus money in prepared remarks before the House Financial Services Committee on June 30. “A full [economic] recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to re-engage in a broad range of activities,” Powell said. “The path forward will also depend on the policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery for as long as needed.”


The Senate intends to weigh the benefits of a second check this month.

James Martin/CNET

$1,200 cap for individuals, $6,000 for families?

The House passed the Heroes Act on May 15. The bill, which has not cleared the Senate and is not law, seeks larger payments for more family members, according to a fact sheet from the House Appropriations Committee (PDF). 

McConnell has already dismissed the bill, as has the president, who has called it DOA. Here are the broad outlines of the House bill:

  • Individuals: An eligible person could receive up to $1,200, the same as the CARES Act.
  • Children and dependents: Each dependent could qualify for a $1,200 payment.
  • Families: Households would qualify for a maximum payment of $6,000 total, capped at five family members at $1,200 apiece.
  • People who aren’t US citizens: Noncitizens who file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number would qualify for a payment.

The bill would also extend many federal benefits set to expire this month.

When will we know more stimulus check news?

The Senate proposal is expected Monday, where it will then go before the House for debate. The situation could change daily. Congress has until Aug. 7 to pass another stimulus bill before a month-long recess. Here’s more on the timeline, including when the IRS could potentially send the first checks.

If you’re still waiting for your first stimulus check, here are 10 possible reasons for a delay and what you can do if you think your payment is lost or has fallen through the cracks.

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