Surprise! That $600 Stimulus Check Might Now Be For $2000

By Dave Basner

December 23, 2020

After months of back and forth, this week, Congress finally agreed on a relief package that included a second stimulus check. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate approved the bill, which boasted a direct payment of $600 to millions of Americans. The only thing that had to happen before checks went out was President Trump signing the bill, something he was expected to do. However, with the relief package on his desk, the President opted not to sign it and now might veto it if the stimulus check amount isn't increased to $2,000.

Trump posted a video on Twitter and in it said that the bill had "taken forever" and described it as a "disgrace." He went on to say, "Send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package, and maybe that administration will be me and we will get it done."

Democrats, who have been pushing for a larger stimulus check, were pretty thrilled with the news, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tweeting, "Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 - Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let's do it!"

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, a close ally to the President, seems to be behind it as well, tweeting, "Appreciate the fact that Speaker Pelosi supports President [Trump's] idea to increase direct payments to $2,000 per person. The American people are hurting and deserve relief. I know there is much bipartisan support for this idea. Let’s go further."

To move things along, on Christmas Eve, the House will pass a measure increasing the amount of the stimulus checks through a procedure called unanimous consent. What that means is the act will pass automatically unless a lawmaker verbally objects. If anyone were to do that, it would be a Republican since they were uncomfortable with the amount originally, however for them to object would mean going against a demand from the president.

The measure will also have to pass through the Senate, where previously a proposal for a $1,200 check failed.

While Trump could veto the bill, it passed with such a strong majority that it would override a veto. However, he could also use the rarely executed pocket veto, which would keep the bill from becoming a law and not allow for Congress to override it. To do this, he essentially wouldn't sign it before Congress adjourns for the year.

The clock is ticking because the relief package also averted a government shutdown and if it doesn't get signed by December 28, there might be a shutdown and at that point there would be no timeline for when checks will go out. However, if it is signed in the coming days, checks will start being delivered about a week after that. If all goes smoothly, you can now expect them in early January, but it seems nothing has gone smoothly with this second stimulus check.

Photo: Getty Images

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