$600 stimulus checks still on the table after Republicans block $2,000 payments

Personal Finance

Federal stimulus checks are prepared for printing at the Philadelphia Financial Center May 8.

Jeff Fusco | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Americans likely won’t see $2,000 stimulus checks, and those $600 direct payments may be further delayed.

House Republicans on Thursday blocked an attempt by Democrats to pass $2,000 checks, an amount President Donald Trump called for Tuesday in a criticism of the latest $900 billion stimulus bill.

Congress passed that measure on Monday and Trump has yet to sign it into law.

Democrats will try again to push $2,000 checks, but it’s unclear if the amount will gather enough Republican support. In a statement Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she would hold a vote on Monday, and pressed Trump to end Republican obstruction of the measure.

“To vote against this bill is to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny them the relief they need,” she said.

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Even if Democrats can’t pass $2,000 checks, the $600 Republicans and Democrats agreed upon in the bill is still on the table. Individuals earning up to $75,000 and couples filing jointly making up to $150,000 would get the full amount, per the bill text.

The $600 checks have drawn criticism from many who say they aren’t enough to help families struggling amid the pandemic – in most states, the amount won’t cover one month of rent.

And, because Trump has not yet signed the stimulus bill those payments will likely be delayed, instead of going out as soon as next week, as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.

The timing of the delay in solidifying the Covid relief bill is dire. In just a few days, millions are set to lose unemployment benefits and a ban on evictions lapses.

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