Washington lawmakers are looking to extend the federal budget negotiations one more week to avoid a government shutdown — the original deadline was Friday, Dec. 11. Plus, Americans are still relying on Congress to approve abefore run out at the end of the month. As if that’s not enough, lawmakers from both the House and Senate are calling for to be included in the aid this year ( ) to .
“The American people need help and they need help now,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, in a statement on Friday. “We have got to make sure that every working class American receives at least $1,200 in direct payments.”
But with a divided Congress, legislators will weighin the few weeks left in the year. And that includes if Congress can include another direct payment in . It’s also too early to tell for certain how quickly the IRS could move to .
But the good news is that we have enough information to make some educated guesses, including a handy chart with potential dates when you could see a check, depending on what happens in Washington. The short answer is, it’s more likely any bill Congress passes in December will skip over the, but a larger package in 2021 may have . (Here’s .)
Here are the four things standing between you and the next stimulus check. Note that some people may see athan before, and others at all.
This story updates often with new information.
When will the new stimulus bill come to a vote?
While the date to vote on a package has been a moving target for months, top leaders are now looking to hit a Dec. 11 deadline. That means lawmakers will have to move fast to put together a final bill. Since we can’t officially rule out another stimulus check yet —of the haven’t yet begun — you’ll see that possibility reflected in Scenario 1 in the chart below.
“We’re in the middle of drafting as we speak,” Rep. Tom Reed, a co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group, said on Friday. “This is about making sure that the money is allocated to those that are most in need.”
With Congress under a deadline to pass a new federal budget by Dec. 11, the Senate may also try to attach more economic aid to a government funding bill.
After President-elect Joe Biden becomes , the new administration could try again for a larger bill that could include another direct payment. That would mean a check would likely go out in February at the earliest. See the chart below for possible dates. (Here are separate if there’s no stimulus bill by inauguration).
How fast could the IRS deliver another round of stimulus checks?
In August, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said it would take about a week from the time that another direct payment is approved to the time the IRS could process the first batch.
“I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts,” Mnuchin said then.
If a check doesn’t arrive until 2021, there will be a new Treasury secretary — it isn’t clear if a transition of power would cause a delay in sending out money. Biden has selected Janet Yellen, the previous chair of the US Federal Reserve, for the Treasury position, though she would need to be confirmed by the Senate before taking office.
Even if the checks were to go out faster the second time by following the existing IRS protocol from the first payment, that doesn’t necessarily mean your stimulus money would arrive a week after a bill went live. The following section explains more.
Which date should I expect my second stimulus check to arrive?
Here’s one: Not everyone will get a payment at the same time. With the first check, the IRS divided stimulus payments into three main groups depending on the form in which you received the money. We explain more in the next section.
In the chart below, these speculative dates show when you might see a payment, starting with the Dec. 11 deadline. The second scenario is possible if the House and Senate are called back to vote and the session officially extended. We also sketched out two timelines if a bill becomes law after Biden’sto give you an idea of how long you might have to wait.
Possible dates a second stimulus check could go out
|Scenario 1||Scenario 2||Scenario 3||Scenario 4|
|House passes final bill||Dec. 18||Feb. 1||March 1||April 5|
|Senate passes final bill||Dec. 19||Feb. 2||March 2||April 6|
|President signs||Dec. 20||Feb. 3||March 3||April 7|
|First direct deposits issued||Week of Dec. 28||Week of Feb. 8||Week of March 8||Week of April 12|
|First paper checks sent||Week of Jan. 4||Week of Feb. 16 (Feb. 15 is President’s Day)||Week of March 15||Week of April 19|
|First EIP cards sent||Week of Feb. 1||Week of March 15||Week of April 12||Week of May 10|
EIP card? Check? How these different groups could relate to you
The three groups you see above are just the beginning. They represent the IRS’ staggered timeline for sending out payments with the first stimulus check. We dive more into the.