WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President-elect Joe Biden pushed Friday for an additional coronavirus relief package expected to include a third round of stimulus checks. This direct payment could be the biggest of all with a figure of $2,000 being tossed around.
“We need to provide more immediate relief for families and businesses now,” Biden said during the address. “People are really, really, really in desperate shape.”
The comments followed a pitch to Georgia voters earlier that week in which Biden said if Democrats won those races, $2,000 stimulus checks would be on their way to most Americans.
That ended up happening, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reinforced that money was on its way.
“One of the first things that I want to do when our new senators are seated is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families,” Schumer, who will become majority leader, said Wednesday.
Previously, the GOP-controlled Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had been the biggest hurdle for getting larger direct payments passed.
So when could this $2,000 payment become a reality? Probably early February at the earliest. The results in Georgia would first need to be certified before the new senators take their seats. It’s expected that Republicans will file appeals to those results. The deadline to certify results is January 22, according to Yahoo News.
The Washington Post also notes it’s not clear whether the checks would be standalone legislation, which could move pretty quickly, or a component of a much larger package that may take time to work through.
The idea of a larger payment came about from President Donald Trump’s eleventh-hour proposal to increase the size of stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000. The $600 bipartisan compromise had been considered a done deal and had won sweeping approval in the House and Senate after the White House assured GOP leaders that Trump supported it. After the $2,000 proposal was blocked in the GOP-controlled Senate, Trump signed the deal with smaller checks.
Prior to the Georgia race, Biden noted he’d push for new direct payments but wouldn’t discuss a definitive amount. He had referred to this most recent $600 check as a “down payment.”