Another batch of stimulus checks could be coming for some Americans still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.
In recent weeks, President Trump and key administration officials have signaled they want to include a second cash payment in the next coronavirus relief package, although it's unclear how much money Americans may receive when the checks go out.
“I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats, but it’s got to be done properly,” Trump said last week during an interview with FOX Business' Blake Burman. “I want the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it. I want the money to get there quickly and in a noncomplicated fashion.”
Negotiations between Congress and the Trump administration on another round of virus-related stimulus are set to intensify later this month once Senate lawmakers return to Washington from their two-week Fourth of July break.
That gives lawmakers just two weeks to reach an agreement on legislation: The House is scheduled to start its recess by Aug. 3, and the Senate is expected to follow one week later. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants to finish work on the next round of aid before August. The earliest we may see a vote would be in late July.
President Donald Trump's name appears on the coronavirus economic assistance checks that were sent to citizens across the country April 29, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Although initially reticent about backing more direct payments -- they frequently criticized the $3 trillion Democratic-passed HEROES Act, which included a second payment of up to $1,200 for some Americans -- Senate Republicans opened the door to another stimulus check this week.
McConnell suggested the legislation could include direct payments only to people who make $40,000 or less a year.
“I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less,” he said on Monday.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that if Congress approves a second cash payment, the federal government would be able to distribute the money "very, very quickly."
"We do support another round of economic impact payments," Mnuchin said during an interview with CNBC. "In most cases, those are not checks, it's direct deposits and we can get that into hard-working Americans' bank accounts very, very quickly."
On March 25, Trump signed into law the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which sent one-time payments of up to $1,200 to Americans earning less than $99,000. Three weeks later, on April 15, the IRS began distributing the money to tens of millions of Americans via direct deposit.
If Trump signed legislation by the beginning of August, that could mean Americans would start to see the money at least by the end of the month -- if not earlier, as the IRS already has individuals' direct deposit information on hand.
At the beginning of June, the IRS said it had distributed some 159 million payments, worth more than $267 billion. Of those checks, 120 million were sent via direct deposit; 35 million by check; and 4 million were made in the form of a prepaid debit card.
Congress has already approved three massive stimulus packages totaling nearly $3 trillion to offset the economic pain triggered by the outbreak of the virus and subsequent lockdown. That includes the $2.2 trillion CARES Act signed into law at the end of March, which sent one-time payments of up to $1,200 to Americans; established the Paycheck Protection Program and expanded unemployment benefits by $600 per week through the end of July.