The wheels of the United States government are turning to get COVID-19 relief checks into the hands of Americans, even as debate rages over the size of the payments.
President Donald Trump called for $2,000 checks to be sent to eligible Americans last week, calling the spending bill passed by Congress that offered individuals $600 a “disgrace” and arguing the bill had “almost nothing to do with COVID.”
In light of the crucial timeline for Americans to receive federal aid, however, Trump signed the bill on Sunday night.
Still, the president did not back down from his original demand to increase payments for individual Americans.
Trump’s indignation over the billions granted to foreign aid in the relief bill and the limits of its help for American families prompted reconsideration of the bill in the House of Representatives.
After deliberation on Monday, the Democratic-controlled House approved a revised relief bill that would raise the ante to the $2,000 level proposed by Trump. However, its future is up to the Senate.
Several Republicans in the Senate majority have voiced their support for raising the relief check amount to $2,000, including Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Working Americans have borne the brunt of this pandemic. They’ve been hammered, through no fault of their own. They deserve $2000 in #covid relief – a fraction of what the banks & big business got. Let’s vote now
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 29, 2020
I agree with @realDonaldTrump — we need to deliver $2,000 direct relief checks to the American people.
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) December 29, 2020
I am concerned about the debt, but working families have been hurt badly by the pandemic
This is why I supported $600 direct payments to working families & if given the chance will vote to increase the amount https://t.co/EciB6TszTY
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 28, 2020
Although the amount may change, the process for these checks is pretty well determined, according to the New York Post.
Individuals who earn $75,000 or less can get the full amount of the payment approved by Congress. Couples who file jointly can claim two checks — if the stimulus amount remains at $600, couples who filed jointly will receive $1,200.
Families are eligible to receive an additional $600 for every dependent under the age of 17. However, families with dependents over 17 years old will not receive a stipend for them; neither will those dependents receive a check of their own.
Eligibility is based on individuals’ 2019 tax returns, but taxpayers who made less money in 2020 than 2019 will be able to claim a refundable tax credit when they file, according to the Post.
Payments decrease for individuals who made more than $75,000 in a year. At the $600-per-person level, checks will drop by $5 for every $100 in income over the limit.
Individuals who earned more than $87,000 in 2019, or couples that earned more than twice that amount, will not be eligible for a check.
Once Congress has come to its final decision on how much Americans will receive in relief, the money should start showing up in bank accounts through direct deposit in about two weeks, the Post reported.
As with the stimulus money sent earlier in the year, taxpayers who have given the Internal Revenue Service their banking information will likely be first in line for the new round of payments.
According to CBS, families of American citizens who married immigrants who do not have green cards will also qualify under the payments for dependents.
The proposed update to the COVID-19 relief bill — checks in the amount of $2,000 and less consideration of Big Tech companies — is opposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
On Tuesday, according to USA Today, McConnell blocked immediate approval of the revised bill, according to USA Today.
It’s unclear if the Senate will even take it up, the newspaper reported.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.