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Stimulus checks should start going out this week but timing could slide, administration official says

Will Lanzoni/CNN

The new round of stimulus payments included in the $900 billion Covid relief package are expected to start going out this week, an administration official told CNN, while acknowledging that the timing could slide.

The legislation, which President Donald Trump signed Sunday evening, provides for $600 checks to individuals who meet income limits. Experts previously told CNN it would take at least two weeks for the Treasury to get cash into people’s bank accounts.

“The timing could be more challenging this time, but the IRS could likely begin to get the money out in January,” said Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

Trump signaled in a statement Sunday night that he had signed the bill only after securing a commitment for the Senate to consider legislation to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, did not reference that commitment in his own statement Sunday night praising the President for signing the relief bill.

House Republicans had blocked an effort by Democrats to advance $2,000 checks last week, but the House tried again Monday and passed it with a 275-134 floor vote.

That vote required a two-thirds majority to pass since it took place under a suspension of the rules, a threshold that meant it would need a wide margin of bipartisan support to be approved. Now McConnell must decide whether to bring the provision to the Senate floor, when many Republicans in his ranks have made it clear they don’t think an increase is warranted given how much it would increase the cost of the stimulus bill.

In March, Congress provided individuals with $1,200 direct payments and couples with $2,400 plus $500 per child under the $2 trillion CARES Act. It took two weeks after the first bill was passed for the IRS to start distributing the money — but some eligible recipients still haven’t received it, months later.

As with that first round, the new payments will start phasing out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 won’t receive anything. The income thresholds would be doubled for couples.

The new round of checks is also expected to put considerable pressure on the IRS during a time when the agency is preparing for the upcoming tax filing season and more staff may be on leave than usual due to the holidays.

This story has been updated to note the House passed a measure Monday to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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