Millions of Americans were set to begin receiving stimulus payments of up to $600 Tuesday night as part of the COVID-19 relief bill, the second such direct payment during the pandemic.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said direct deposits have already begun, and paper checks are to be mailed beginning Wednesday, adding that the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service “are working with unprecedented speed to issue a second round of Economic Impact Payments to eligible Americans and their families.”
The amount could change. Even as $600 checks are going out, Congress is still battling over increasing the economic impact payment amount to $2,000 for individuals.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is attempting to secure an election-fraud investigation plus a full repeal of section 230 (federal protections for entities such as Facebook and Twitter) in return for upping the payments to $2,000.
McConnell’s move is a rejection of what Trump wants and could mean a backlash for Republicans. That legislation is in limbo.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday blasted McConnell for the delay. “It’s amazing to see the patience that some people have with other people’s suffering,” Pelosi said at a news conference. “These Republicans in the Senate seem to have an endless tolerance. We urge Mitch McConnell to stop his obstruction and to bring that legislation to the floor of the Senate.”
If the $2,000 checks find approval, the IRS would top up checks already issued as soon as possible, it said Tuesday.
For now, Americans who made up to $75,000 in 2019 will receive up to $600. Married couples who earned up to $150,000 will receive up to $1,200, and filers listed as “head of household” and who earned $112,500 or less will also get up to $600.