Will There Be a Second Stimulus Check? Lawmakers Are Divided

Lawmakers are divided over whether there will be a second round of stimulus checks for Americans after the first round saw millions receive money from the federal government.

President Donald Trump said during an interview Monday with Scripps National News that people will eventually receive a second stimulus check that is "very good" and "very generous," though he did not specify an amount.

The first round of stimulus checks were included in the CARES Act that Trump signed into law March 27. The coronavirus relief bill included a provision that saw individuals who earned $75,000 and less receive a $1,200 check. Married couples who earned $150,000 or less received a $2,400 check. Those with child dependents received an extra $500 per child.

Democrats passed the HEROES Act on May 15, though the $3 trillion relief package will likely never make it through the Senate after facing bipartisan opposition in the House. The bill was deemed a "Democratic wish list" by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who also labeled it a non-starter. The bill included stimulus checks of $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples who made $75,000 and $150,000, respectively, similar to the first bill.

However, in the HEROES Act, those with child dependents would get $1,200 per child for up to three children. The bill caps the amount a single family can receive at $6,000. College students who are claimed as dependents would also qualify for a stimulus check, having been excluded from receiving one in the first bill.

Republican Congressman Greg Pence from Indiana, older brother to Vice President Mike Pence, told Fox 8 News, based out of Cleveland, that he is "open to anything that helps Main Street," but wants to wait and see if a new round of checks is actually needed.

"I think it's a little premature in my state – the economy's doing great, we're flat on the virus – so I think we have to go slow, let's not get ahead of ourselves on a second stimulus package," Pence said.

Democrat Senator Ben Cardin told The Hill in late-May that he would like to see checks sent to Americans who are most in need of the money as the economy is starting to resurge in parts of the country.

"I'd like to take a look at all that aid we provided and get good economic information on the value for that, from the point of view of our economy but more importantly on fairness to people who are really hurt," Cardin said, adding that the first round of checks was sent out quickly as a result of the pandemic.

"I think the next round we've got to be more targeted to those who are really in need. So I hope we can target this a little bit better to those who have been hit hard because of COVID-19," Cardin said at the time.

Democrat Congressman Emanuel Cleaver from Missouri stated that he strongly supports "trying to get money back into the bloodstream of the country," according to Fox 8 News.

"Think about this, young people have no jobs during the summer, particularly poor kids, and their parents don't have jobs. I mean that is something we should not tolerate in the United States," Cleaver said.

Other ideas floated by lawmakers to help struggling Americans include a bonus incentivizing workers collecting unemployment to go back to work and adjustments to the Paycheck Protection Program, which helps small businesses stay open in the midst of the pandemic.

Economic Impact Payments
Economic stimulus checks are prepared for printing at the Philadelphia Financial Center May 8, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lawmakers are divided on the next round of stimulus checks. Getty/Jeff Fusco