KEY POINTS

  • Senate Democrats are planning for $2,000 stimulus checks
  • Lawmakers are also discussing delivering another relief package
  • A third round of payments will likely be based on 2020 tax returns

Senate Democrats have begun to lay out plans for a third round of stimulus checks worth $2,000 for millions of Americans a week before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday promised to prioritize delivering another coronavirus relief package to people in need of help amid President Donald Trump’s probable impeachment trial. The new bill will likely include federal aid for vaccine distribution, small businesses and schools. 

“The nation is facing unprecedented challenges: the greatest economic crisis in seventy-five years, the greatest public health crisis in a century, the climate crisis, and worsening income inequality and racial injustice,” Schumer wrote in a letter.

“The Senate Democratic Majority, working within President-elect Biden and our House Democratic colleagues, is committed to delivering the bold change our country demands, and the help that our people need,” he added. 

Schumer also said that Democrats would send another round of direct payments to Americans and increase the amount to $2,000 from $600. 

“We will get that done,” the New York Democrat wrote

Schumer’s letter arrives following an announcement by Biden on Friday that he is assembling a multi-trillion-dollar COVID-19 relief package that would include a boost for stimulus payments and the extension of federal unemployment benefits. 

During a news conference in Delaware, the incoming president said he is looking to increase the amount of stimulus checks to $2,000 and provide aid to schools and small businesses, especially those in low-income areas. 

“We need to provide more immediate relief for families and businesses now,” Biden said. “The overwhelming consensus among leading economists left, right and center is that in order to keep the economy from collapsing this year, getting much, much worse, we should be investing significant amounts of money right now.”

While a third stimulus check amounting to $2,000 would give families and individuals more money, the government may decide to adjust the phase-out rules to prevent people with higher incomes from receiving a check. 

Another round of payments would also likely be based on 2020 tax returns, which the IRS will begin accepting in late January or early February.  Democratic leaders like Chuck Schumer pounced immediately to insist that their party had been in favor of higher individual relief payments from the start Democratic leaders like Chuck Schumer pounced immediately to insist that their party had been in favor of higher individual relief payments from the start Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / TASOS KATOPODIS