By: Zack Friedman —-
Now that Joe Biden has picked Kamala Harris as his running mate, will you get a $2,000 a month stimulus check?
Here’s what you need to know.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden announced today that he has picked Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate. As Americans await a potential second stimulus check, and given this new announcement, a reasonable question to ask is this: Will there be a $2,000 monthly stimulus check? First, Harris has been a major proponent of a monthly stimulus check. Second, President Donald Trump issued several executive orders this past week, but did not approve any new stimulus checks. This means that Congress will decide the fate of a second round of stimulus payments. Will Biden’s new vice presidential pick influence your next stimulus payment?
Let’s dive in to explore.
Second stimulus checks: $2,000 a month
Harris, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, which would:
- Give up to $2,000 a month to anyone earning up to $120,000 per year.
- The monthly payment begins to phase out starting at $100,000 per year.
- Married couples who file jointly would receive up to $4,000.
- You can receive $2,000 for each dependent (maximum three dependents).
- The legislation would be retroactive to March 2020.
- Every U.S. resident can receive payment, regardless if they file taxes or have a Social Security number.
- The payments would last until three months after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Harris is not the only former presidential candidate to support monthly stimulus checks. For example, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who supports universal basic income, has proposed $1,000 a month for every U.S. citizen 18 and older — forever. Similarly, billionaire entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban proposed giving Americans $1,000 every two weeks. Interestingly, the Heroes Act — the $3 trillion stimulus package passed by the Democratic-led House of Representatives — did not include a monthly stimulus check.
Last month, Harris reiterated her call for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks during an interview on MSNBC. “Together, with Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey, I’m proposing that we have not just that one-time check of $1,200,” Harris told MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “Through the course of this pandemic and crisis, we need to give people $2,000 a month as recurrent payments—people below a certain income level—to help them and sustain them through these months of crisis so at the end of it, they can get back up on their feet instead of falling deep deep deep into the crevices of this crisis. And, it does not make any sense, to your point, when we have Republicans in Congress who are standing in the way of supporting working people who have recently lost their jobs—[and] have every intention of working—when we can get through this crisis and [they] just need help from their government.”
Stimulus update: a second round of stimulus checks
Congress likely will approve a second round of stimulus checks. However, don’t expect a monthly stimulus check in the next stimulus package. Congress largely agrees on a second round of stimulus payments, although Congress could consider four main plans for a second stimulus check. Congress could approve standalone legislation for a second check, or could include stimulus payments as part of a broader, comprehensive package. Before Trump’s executive action, Congress agreed in principle to $1,200 stimulus checks on the same terms as the Cares Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that included the first round of checks.
While Democrats proposed $1,200 for each dependent, with a maximum of three dependents, Republicans proposed $500 for each dependent. While Congress has not finalized the amount of dependent payments, both parties agree to waive the age cap so that dependents of any age — including high school students, college students and adult dependents — could qualify for dependent payments.
What Kamala Harris means for your next stimulus payment?
Will you get a second stimulus check? Will a stimulus check be included in the next stimulus package? Most likely, yes. What role will Harris play? As a senator and vice presidential candidate, Harris can vote on the next stimulus package, if Congress reaches an agreement. However, Congress won’t support a monthly stimulus check, including the Harris-Sanders-Markey plan, for the next stimulus due to a lack of bipartisan support.
That said, if Harris is elected vice president and Democrats gain control of the U.S. Senate, it’s possible that a Biden-Harris administration could push for a monthly stimulus check in Congress. Many Democrats support some form of basic universal income, and this call for monthly support may increase particularly if the Covid-19 pandemic — and any associated economic downturn — continues after January 20, 2021.