Almost all eligible people would have received the $600 stimulus checks by now. This was the second stimulus check after $1,200 checks were approved under the CARES Act in March. Now, it is believed that Congress could approve another round of coronavirus stimulus checks of up to $1400.
President-elect Joe Biden recently unveiled his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, called the American Rescue Plan. This relief plan, among other things, includes stimulus checks of up to $1,400 for most Americans. However, analysts believe it could be months before people actually start to get this payment.
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Alec Phillips, the chief U.S. political economist with Goldman Sachs, believes the Congress could approve the package by mid-February to mid-March. Once Congress passes the bill, it needs to be signed by the president, and only after this, the IRS can start distributing the stimulus checks.
At the time of the first stimulus payment of up to $1,200, the first checks started going out two weeks after it was signed by the president. With the second stimulus payment of up to $600, the IRS took about a week to push out the payment. If Congress approves the third stimulus payment, one can expect the IRS to take less or about the same time it took to send the second stimulus payment.
So, if Congress approves a new relief bill by mid-February, then checks could start to arrive by late February. This, however, would be the best-case scenario. If the package is passed by the end of March, then the checks could arrive by early April.
Is another stimulus package possible?
Analysts believe the high price tag of the bill could face stiff opposition from the Republican lawmakers. At the time of the second stimulus, Senate Republicans resisted Democratic efforts to pass a stimulus package of $2 trillion or more.
Some analysts expect the cost of the final package to be between $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion. On the other hand, there are analysts who believe that Republicans would support the stimulus payment of up to $1,400 if the Biden administration is able to manage their priorities well. Many economists are of the opinion that further stimulus checks could prove a lifeline for cash-strapped workers who lost their jobs or had reduced income during the pandemic.
Also, analysts believe there are several factors that could push Congress to fast track $1,400 stimulus checks. The chief among those is a weaker outlook for the labor market, coupled by higher than expected jobless claims during the first week of January, and a record number of COVID-19 infections and deaths.
"The market is back to an expectation that more fiscal stimulus is all but inevitable in the early days of the Biden administration, with the release of a $1.9 trillion 'American Rescue Plan,'” Ed Mills, an analyst with investment bank Raymond James said, according to CBS News.