Congress considers smaller round of stimulus checks in new virus spending bill

Lawmakers mull sending out $600 in direct checks to individuals as part of a coronavirus relief package

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Millions of Americans have been hoping and waiting for an additional stimulus check to come as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravish the nation.

The odds looked bleak after Congress failed to make an agreement on the contents of another coronavirus spending package before the General Election more than a month ago. Lawmakers are currently in Washington, D.C. attempting to hammer out a deal and it appears a second round of relief checks will be approved for citizens, though at a reduced benefit.

As reported by CNET, direct checks of $600 for individuals may be included in a new $900 billion stimulus package that is being negotiated this weekend. Alongside other measures, weekly unemployment support of $300 for out-of-work Americans to supplement state unemployment payouts is also being considered, though that is half the amount of the boost that Congress approved in March.

Stimulus Checks With President Trump's Name Sent Out To Americans
U.S. President Donald Trump’s name appears on the coronavirus economic assistance checks that were sent to citizens across the country April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After the Senate and the House of Representatives avoided a government shutdown by passing a short-term funding bill on Friday, a vote for more coronavirus relief could happen as early as Saturday afternoon.

READ MORE: The time for a racial equity stimulus package is now

The first round of stimulus checks that were funded in the CARES Act in March issued $1,200 to individuals making less than $75,000 a year. Married couples making less than $150,000 received $2,400 checks. The dollar amount was reduced for incomes above those thresholds.

Direct checks in the first batch were phased out for individuals making more than $99,000 a year and married couples making over $198,000 collectively.

READ MORE: McCarthey says he and McConnell both support $600 stimulus checks

A potential second round of checks would be half that, according to CNBC. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota stated that those eligible would only receive between $600 to $700 per person. Adult dependents, including college students, who were previously excluded would be eligible to receive payouts this go around.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 15 million lower- and middle-income dependents missed out on the rebate earlier this year due to dependency restrictions.

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