While democratic and republican legislators have once again expressed optimism about an agreement on coronavirus assistance, the current round of negotiations stands in the way of a second round of reviews of household incentives. Here’s the latest news on the negotiations, and see if the checks can still be on the table.

A bipartisan group of legislators worked for weeks on a $908 billion package for coronaviruses, much of which was approved. But legislators are still negotiating the development of the two most difficult components: the financing of public and local aid and the legal protection to be provided to companies, schools and other actors working during the pandemic. The legislators said they hope to finalise the agreement and turn it into a law in the next few days. The leaders of Congress took part in the discussions, but could play a more important role in the coming days.

Will this agreement include a new round of incentives?

The current non-partisan proposal provides for increased support for the unemployed, but does not finance a new set of direct payments that would reach most households. Including payments such as $1,200 checks in the spring, this would have cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and the Republicans have made it clear that $900 billion is already more than they want to spend. Many Republicans describe this round as an emergency aid package, not as a stimulus plan.

But the White House has pushed the Republicans into a new cycle of control…


At the end of Tuesday, the administration made its own proposal, which provided for payments of $600 per person.

Is it possible to include incentive controls in the transaction?

It’s not out of the question yet. Democrats and several Republicans continue to call for the inclusion of a second round of incentives in each agreement before the end of the year. And before the election, President Trump asked Congress to give him extra support for coronaviruses, which would involve a new round of direct checks.

Senator Josh Hawley.

(R., Moe) said he asked Trump on Monday to veto any bill that didn’t include them. And many Democrats still hope to record them.

Direct cheques are a good way to put money in the hands of people who really need it.

Senator Elizabeth Warren

(D., Massachusetts.) Said.

With the third increase in the number of Covid 19 cases in the United States and the prospect of more business closures, the call for a new stimulus package is increasing in Congress. Gerald F. Sabe of the WSJ examines the pros and cons. Photo: Stephanie Reynolds/Bloomberg News (Originally published on 18 November 2020)

What about next year?

elected president

Joe Biden

said that any support Congress would receive this year was only an anticipation of the additional support it hopes to receive in 2021, which could include another round of direct inspections. However, each package still has to be approved by the Senate, whose control has yet to be determined in two rounds of Senate sessions at the beginning of January.

There are currently 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats represented in the Parliament. If the Democrats win the two primary elections, they get a majority because the elected Vice President

Kamala Harris

will break any tie. If Republicans have at least one of those seats..,

Senator Mitch McConnell…

(R, Kai) will retain his position as Senate majority leader.

A larger aid package may be more difficult to implement in the government-controlled Senate, although the conditions for public health and economic recovery next year will help shape the political climate.

Will the access rules change?

This point has already been made. Under a law passed by Congress in March, benefit recipients were required to have a social security number. Families of which one parent or spouse does not have a social security number, either in the country or for other reasons, are excluded. Democrats want to widen the circle of people who do not have a social security number, but do have an individual tax identification number or ITIN, and their families. The Republicans were opposed to it and said they wanted to ensure that the government did not send cheques to illegal immigrants or encourage illegal behaviour, and that a social security number was needed to prevent fraud.

How long did it take for households to receive their cheques in the spring?

In the spring, the IRS was able to pay $80 million within two weeks of Congress’ approval, rising to $267 billion in about two months. It continues to make payments to groups of final beneficiaries, including low-income households who have just provided their bank details to the IRS and prisoners who receive payments after a court case has challenged the government’s refusal.

Considering the monumental tasks we have inherited, Commissioner for Taxation, we have done at least as well as any other federal government.

Charles Rettig

informed Parliament’s subcommittee last month on the resources to be deployed.

What is the timeframe for a possible new payment term?

If the law is passed, the second payment cycle is likely to be faster than the first. This is due to the fact that the tax authorities have information on households that do not normally make tax returns, including recipients of social security benefits and war veteran allowances, which they did not have at the beginning of the year. This means that the government can send more people to pay electronically and is less dependent on the slow printing of cheques.

A possible complication, however, is whether the second round of payments will coincide with the preparation by the IRS of the annual tax registration season, which normally starts at the end of January and will require significant resources from the Agency to program and test computer systems.

Write to Christine Peterson at [email protected] and Richard Rubin at [email protected]

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