Second Incentive Checks and Other Covid-19 Aids – What Happens, What Happens in Aid Talks


Democratic and Republican leaders are concluding a coronavirus aid deal, which is expected to include a second round of stimulus checks. Here is the latest issue in the negotiations and what else can be in the package.

Congress leaders have approached the conclusion of a roughly $ 900 billion corona virus eradication agreement that includes another round of direct payments to households, along with support for schools, vaccine distribution, unemployed workers and more. Congressional assistants noted that negotiations are continuing.

Does the agreement include a second round of incentive checks?

Leaders are developing a proposal by a bipartisan group that did not include funding for another round of direct payments that would reach most households. But congressional leaders were expected to add direct checks, and Senate-majority whip John Thune (R., SD) told reporters on Wednesday that he expected checks to fall between $ 600 and $ 700 per person. That’s less than the $ 1,200 check per person in the first round earlier this year.

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, this earlier round of direct payments is estimated to cost $ 292 billion by 2021.

What about state and local aid and liability protection?

They are likely to be left out of this convention once they have proven to be one of the defining points in the negotiations. Mr Thune indicated that Democrats had called for the inclusion of direct controls in exchange for abandoning aid to state and local governments.

What other direct subsidies are legislators considering?

The bipartisan proposal, which the leaders are working on, included:

• $ 300 billion in funding for small business administration, the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program.

• Extend existing unemployment programs to increase entitlement to unemployment benefits and increase the duration of such benefits, and add a $ 300 weekly federal supplement to state unemployment benefits for 16 weeks.

• $ 25 billion in rental support.

• Extend the release of federally held student loans until April 2021.

• A rule that clarifies that expenses related to PPP loans can be deducted from tax returns, annulling the decision of the Treasury Department.

What about health care and vaccinations?

The bipartisan group also allocated money for this, and democratic leaders suggested pushing for even more – especially to spread vaccines. The bipartisan proposal included:

• $ 3.42 billion in direct funding to states, localities and territories and $ 2.58 billion to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to distribute vaccines.

• $ 7 billion for states and local governments to test and locate efforts, and $ 2 billion for nursing homes.

• $ 35 billion for health care providers.

• $ 5 billion for treatment for drug use and mental health.

Do schools and childcare pay attention?

Yes. The bipartisan plan includes $ 82 billion to fund schools and universities and $ 10 billion for childcare providers.

It also includes other measures, such as $ 13 billion to support farmers, $ 12 billion in emergency investments to help low-income and minority communities, and $ 10 billion to expand broadband access. The plan includes $ 45 billion in support for severely affected airlines, airports and public transportation.

Will the eligibility rules for incentive checks change?

This was the subject of debate. Under a law passed in March, recipients were required to have a social security number. This excluded families where a parent or spouse is missing from the Social Security number, either because they are staying in the country illegally or for other reasons. Democrats want to extend eligibility to people who do not have a Social Security number but have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or ITIN and their family members. Republicans have opposed this, saying they want to ensure the government does not send checks to illegal immigrants or reward illegal behavior, and that a social security number is needed to prevent fraud.

How quickly did households receive checks in the spring?

In the spring, the IRS was able to distribute 80 million payments for $ 147 billion in about two weeks after they were approved by Congress, reaching $ 267 billion in about two months. It continues to make payments to final groups of recipients, including low-income households who have just provided their bank account information to the IRS, and prisoners who are paid after a lawsuit disputing the government’s denial.

How quickly would a possible new round of payments arrive?

If enacted, the second round of payment is likely to happen faster than the first. This is because the IRS has information that was missing at the beginning of the year about households that do not typically file a tax return, including Social Security recipients and people receiving veteran benefits. This means the government can send electronic payments to more people and rely less on the slower check printing process.

A potential complication is whether a second payment group could overlap with the IRS’s preparations for the annual tax return season, which typically begins in late January and requires significant agency resources to program and test computer systems beforehand.

What will happen next year?

President-elect Joe Biden has stated that any congress that is passed this year would only be an advance on the additional help he hopes he will hand over in 2021. But every package must clean up the Senate, control of which is still determined by two. The Senate will compete in early January.

The chamber now has 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats standing for the next Congress. If Democrats win both running races, they will enjoy a majority, as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will eliminate the tie votes. If Republicans fill at least one seat, Senator Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) Will retain his job as the majority leader of the Senate.

A larger aid package is likely to have a harder time with the GOP-controlled senate, although public health conditions and economic recovery will help shape next year’s political climate.

Write to him Andrew Duehren at [email protected] and Richard Rubin at [email protected]

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