- Congress passed a $900 billion economic rescue package that Trump is expected to sign within days.
- It contains $600 stimulus checks for Americans which could start going out early next week, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
- Most direct payments are set to be distributed by January 15 under the legislation.
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Congress recently approved a $900 billion government rescue package in a last-minute sprint during its lame-duck session, which President Donald Trump is expected to sign.
Among the measures it contained a $600 stimulus payment for Americans earning up to $75,000, plus an extra $600 per child under 17. It’s half the amount sent out to taxpayers after the CARES Act was enacted in late March.
Couples making up to $150,000 can receive $1,200. Then a family of four qualifies for $2,400 in cash aid from the federal government. People earning under $87,000 yearly can get a reduced check.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday many people could start receiving stimulus checks as early as next week. That timeline puts the federal government on course to send the payments even quicker than the two weeks it initially took.
Rep. Kevin Brady, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, laid out the timeline in a tweet.
—Rep. Kevin Brady (@RepKevinBrady) December 21, 2020
The Texas Republican said the IRS is expected to start sending direct deposits by year’s end with most of the payments dispersed by Jan. 15. The agency will also send millions of paper checks and debit cards each week once the law is enacted.
Experts say the distribution this time is likely to be faster compared to the spring because the IRS and Treasury Department now have taxpayer information on hand for many people, including non-filers and other people who don’t tend to receive federal benefits.
“It’s always easier the second time,” Ernie Tedeschi, a former Treasury Department economist, told Insider.
However, Tedeschi cautioned that agency staffing may be reduced during the holiday season, which could potentially slow the rate of distribution.
The federal government quickly distributed nearly 80 million checks to Americans by the middle of April, a much faster rate than an earlier stimulus program in early 2008. Eligible people who don’t get a stimulus payment in the coming weeks could claim the money through their 2020 tax return.