If you’re looking for the date when you can expect a second stimulus check in 2020, you’re not alone. Most of what’s being talked about right now involves other stimulus measures, so it’s unclear whether there will be more checks for the general public. However, it is an election year, so there is still hope.
Looking for the date of the second stimulus check?
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a congressional hearing earlier this week that the Trump administration was "seriously looking" at the possibility of a second round of stimulus checks for Americans at a later date in 2020. He made the remark during testimony given to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
He said the economy will require additional assistance from the federal government, and one part of that assistance could be additional direct payments to stimulate the economy. He didn't make any suggestions as far as how much the second round of stimulus checks might be.
There were no clues about the date of a possible second stimulus check. We do know that the Senate doesn't even want to talk about further relief measures until after the two-week recess that starts on July 3.
However, if the Trump administration pressures the Senate, it is possible that lawmakers could start working on a phase four stimulus package before then. The HEROES Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives, appears to be dead, just as Republican lawmakers said it was when the House passed it.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the phase four stimulus package would be written in the Senate rather than the House.
Call for targeted relief for industries
Mnuchin emphasized that the economy will need a phase four package with bipartisan support to provide relief. He also said that whatever is done must be "much more targeted to the industries and small businesses that are having the most difficulty reopening as a result of COVID-19."
He added that the Trump administration is focused on getting people back to work. He also said he supports more stimulus measures for industries that have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the travel and retail industries.
The unemployment rate did surprise economists by dropping in May as the economy added 2.5 million jobs. However, Mnuchin told the Senate that much more needs to be done. He said the retail industry shed over 2 million jobs in April, and only 16% of those employees were back on the job in May.
He also said the Paycheck Protection Program, which was part of the March stimulus package, contributed to the May jobs report. He said the program enabled small businesses to retain 50 million workers amid the pandemic.
Good news about a possible date for a second stimulus check
When Mnuchin talks, lawmakers listen, and that's a good thing when it comes to news about the date for a possible second stimulus check. Bloomberg reports that on Wednesday during a Senate hearing, he received praise from both sides of the aisle for his effort in supporting the economy during the pandemic.
Sen. John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, asked Mnuchin what he would put in the next stimulus package if he were "king for a day." The Treasury secretary said he would include a second round of stimulus checks for a later date. He also said he would include measures to encourage businesses to rehire workers. His wish list also includes measures for unemployment and support for the restaurant, leisure and travel industries.
It is important to emphasize that Republican lawmakers don't widely support a second round of checks because of the cost and signs of economic recovery. However, Mnuchin's statement could influence them. Additionally, it is an election year, which could motivate more of them to support another round of checks.