Republicans in the Senate have been pumping the brakes on a round 2 of IRS stimulus checks, but now House Democrats are seeing resistance from their own party in the Senate. The issue involving round 2 of IRS stimulus checks seems to be the focus of the checks.
Democrats oppose IRS stimulus check round 2
Republicans disagree with many parts of the HEROES Act, which is the bill passed by the House of Representatives that includes a round 2 of IRS stimulus checks. However, the coronavirus stimulus checks were one part of the bill that had a chance of surviving the Senate because Republicans had shifted gears and seemed open to more checks for households.
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The new opposition with the HEROES Act comes from Democrats in the Senate, who see the round 2 of IRS stimulus checks as an untargeted expenditure, according to The Hill. Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, who's on the Senate Finance Committee, wants the second round of coronavirus stimulus checks to be focused more on households that have been hit the hardest by the fallout from the pandemic.
He said the first round of coronavirus stimulus checks made sense in March because lawmakers wanted to get money into the hands of Americans as quickly as possible. However, most states are starting to reopen and allow non-essential workers to return to work. Thus, he believes lawmakers should target the second round of IRS stimulus checks to the households that need it most.
Other problems with the HEROES Act
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said they will "probably" pass another stimulus package, but Republicans want it to be much smaller than the $3 trillion in additional aid House Democrats want to pass. Republicans have become concerned about the rising federal deficit, which is on track to hit $3.7 trillion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Senators on both sides of the aisle are now ranking their priorities for the next stimulus package. Some provisions besides a round 2 of IRS stimulus checks are starting to pick up momentum in the Senate. This means the next phase of stimulus probably won't look anything like the HEROES Act, which the House passed.
Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said he would support a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks, but it isn't his top priority. Instead, he has prioritized "tying expanded unemployment benefits to economic conditions" and more aid for "the smallest of small businesses," according to The Hill.
His plan for unemployment keeps the extra $600 per week in federal benefits in place until each state's three-month average total unemployment dips under 11%. For every percentage point decline in unemployment, the extra benefit falls $100. For example, unemployed people would receive an additional $500 if the unemployment rate in their state is between 10% and 11%.
Preparing for IRS stimulus check round 2
If there ends up being a round 2 of IRS stimulus checks, there is one thing you can do to prepare to receive it. CNBC suggests filing your taxes for 2019 if you haven't done so. The IRS extended the tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15 for this year due to the pandemic. Any additional aid for individual households is likely to be tied to tax returns again, just as the first round of coronavirus stimulus checks was.
Taxpayers whose income declined in 2019 would benefit from filing their taxes because they could receive more money in the second round. Those who had a baby would also benefit by receiving the payment for their dependent.
There is a delay in processing tax returns due to the pandemic, especially when it comes to paper returns. However, getting your 2019 taxes out of the way needs to be done sooner or later, especially by July 15.