Will There Be Another Stimulus Check in 2021? What Biden, Leading Members of Congress Have Said

Many Americans have a $600 stimulus check headed their way as part of a recent relief package, but it's possible another payment could hit people's accounts in the next year.

On Sunday night, President Donald Trump signed a spending package that included $900 billion in COVID-19 relief, but he's pushing to increase direct payments to $2,000. A measure to boost payments passed the House of Representatives but Senate Leader Mitch McConnell blocked an attempted vote on it, although he introduced a bill of his own for the increased direct payments, as well as a repeal of legislation protecting social media companies from lawsuits.

With the House out of session until January 3 when the new Congress convenes, the fate of another round of payments remains in flux. A third round of payments could take weeks, but President-elect Joe Biden has vocalized the possibility of additional relief once he takes office.

Speaking at a rally in Georgia in December, Biden told voters it was important that having Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the Senate was vital passing more relief bills. If Ossoff and Warnock oust Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler from office in the Tuesday runoff elections, there will be a 50-50 split in the Senate, effectively giving Democrats control because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will cast the tie-breaking vote.

joe biden stimulus check 2021
President-elect Joe Biden supports increasing the amount of direct payments and it's possible there could be a third stimulus check in 2021. Biden delivers remarks on the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at the Queen Theater on December 29, in Wilmington, Delaware. Mark Makela/Getty

On Tuesday, Biden called the recent package a "down payment" on the assistance that is truly needed and answered affirmatively when asked if he supported the larger amount for direct payments.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also acknowledged that Congress' job wasn't finished with the $900 billion package. But, he said Biden can "focus on the American people," including if that means increasing direct payments. On Wednesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was "hopeful" $2,000 payments could happen "this week" and that they weren't "giving up on it."

"We have to honor heroes, state and local government, and we have to put money into the pockets of the American people. Hopefully, we can do this on this side of the weekend, rather than waiting until later, the third point, direct payments. That has always been our goal: crush the virus, honor our heroes, money in the pockets of the American people," Pelosi said.

At present, eligible Americans earning up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000 will receive the full $600 payment with another $600 afforded for each eligible dependent under the age of 17. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said people could start seeing payments hit their accounts that night and checks could start being mailed out as soon as Wednesday. If Congress approves the increase to the $2,000 payments, eligible Americans will receive a third check for the balance of the amount they're due.

While Biden applauded Congress for doing "its job" in passing the bipartisan, bicameral legislation, he added that he "can" and "must" ask Congress to "do it again next year."

Biden won't take office until January 20 so if he's the president to sign off on a third round of direct payments, it's likely people won't receive them until February or even March. And, given the struggle that it was to find common ground of the most recent package, it's unclear if there will be enough bipartisan, bicameral support to move the measure through Congress.