Everything We Know About a Potential Second Stimulus Check

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is open to the idea of a second stimulus check, but Republicans and Democrats differ on what the aid could look like.

Legislators have been discussing the possibility of a second economic impact payment since April, just as the first round of checks were being deposited. Three months later, Congress is expected to consider the fifth–and last if McConnell has his way–stimulus package and people are waiting to see if they'll receive additional aid.

On Monday, McConnell said at a public event in Kentucky that he was "pretty sure" he will unveil another stimulus package in the next few weeks. When asked if there would be more direct payments to individuals, McConnell said there "could well be," but it may be limited to those who are struggling most.

"I think the people who have been hit the hardest are the people who make about $40,000 a year or less," McConnell said. "Many of them work in the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry as you all know just got rim racked ... so that could well be a part of it."

Instead of doing broad payments as was allocated in the CARES Act in March, White House senior economic advisor Larry Kudlow also said another round could be more targeted. He told Fox Business' Sutart Varney that stimulus checks were "still on the table," as of June 23 and if they end up in the latest relief bill, they'd likely go to those who lost their jobs and are "most in need."

Democrats, however, are pushing for a round of checks that's more reminiscent of the ones included in the CARES Act. Under the HEROES Act, which passed the House of Representatives in May, eligible people earning under $75,000 or $150,000 for joint filers would receive $1,200, plus an additional $1,200 each for up to three dependents.

stimulus check second round what to know
View of New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street on March 23, 2020, in New York City. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there very well could be another round of stimulus checks, but that they could go to those earning under $40,000. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty

Another bill, championed by Senators Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey would further expand payments to $2,000 monthly checks for those earning under $120,000. Those payments would be retroactive to March and continue until three months after the pandemic ends.

Any package that passes Congress requires a stamp of approval from President Donald Trump and he's indicated he's on board with another round of checks. Trump, who said back in April that a second round was "absolutely under serious consideration," is still supportive of the measure, according to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

"We want to make sure that we're addressing things in a real, systemic way, whether that is making sure that the take-home check for every American is greater with a payroll tax deduction, whether it's making sure that we provide incentives for American manufacturing to be brought back from abroad," Meadows told reporters on Monday.

McConnell said Monday that another stimulus package would focus on liability protection for businesses, hospitals, health care workers and education from kindergarten to college. If there's an "epidemic of lawsuits on the heels of the pandemic," McConnell said the U.S. can't get back to normal. He also pushed for kids to be back in school and adults to be back at work.

In a "few weeks," McConnell said, he'll have a package that can serve as a "starting place," and then lawmakers will have to tackle the administration, Democrats and "all the rest." Since the atmosphere is "a good deal" more political than it was in March, when legislators passed the CARES act, McConnell said he wasn't comfortable saying the fifth stimulus package would pass unanimously.

But, he said he thinks the country "needs one last boost."

As far as when relief may come, it's unclear at this point and Congress is on a two-week break until July 20. But, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Thursday Congress "of course" would have enough time to negotiate another bill before the month-long recess starts on August 7.