Your next stimulus check: Congress is speeding $1,400 payments along

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Doug Whiteman
·4 min read
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Your next stimulus check: Congress is speeding $1,400 payments along
Your next stimulus check: Congress is speeding $1,400 payments along

Congress is taking steps toward quickly passing President Joe Biden's coronavirus aid proposals, including a third wave of direct relief payments for most Americans.

The next batch of stimulus checks would be for $1,400 — to top off the $600 payments that started going out in late December. Democrats and former President Donald Trump had wanted to provide $2,000 in that round but were thwarted by Republicans leading the Senate at that time.

Now, there's a new Senate, with Biden's Democratic party in control. And, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic congressional leaders have the stimulus checks and the rest of Biden's aid package moving along a fast track.

Two major hurdles have already been cleared. Here's an update, including a new estimate on when you're likely to get more cash — if you even get a stimulus check next time.

New checks get a push through Congress

Extreme close-up of Federal coronavirus stimulus check provided to all Americans from the United States Treasury in 2020, showing the statue of liberty.
William Sawalich / Shutterstock

The $1,400 relief payments are part of a wide-ranging, $1.9 trillion COVID rescue package proposed by Biden, who says the recent $600 second stimulus checks were "simply not enough."

"You just have to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table," the president said, when he introduced his plan.

When Americans received their first, $1,200 stimulus checks last spring, they largely spent them on expenses for just getting by, including groceries and rent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has said.

A bureau survey also found some people invested the cash or used it for various other purposes. Those may have included buying affordable life insurance — sales of policies have surged amid the pandemic.

Early Friday, the U.S. Senate passed a budget bill that could allow Biden's pandemic aid plan to clear the House and Senate with simple majorities — and potentially no Republican support. The House passed a similar budget on Wednesday. Republicans all voted no both times.

What's the possible timing on 3rd checks?

But Biden says he wants to work with the other party, so — as a matter of compromise — he's considering phasing out the next stimulus checks for Americans making over $50,000 a year, according to The Washington Post.

He's willing to bend only so far: The president has rejected a Republican idea to reduce the top payment amount from $1,400 to $1,000.

In a statement on Friday, Speaker Pelosi said the hope is for Congress to complete work on Biden's pandemic package "before the end of February." That could mean you'd receive your next stimulus check in early March.

But Pelosi's counterpart in the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, hasn't been quite so optimistic about the timing.

The Senate next week is scheduled to start holding Trump's second impeachment trial, and that could take weeks. Given what's on the Senate's plate, Schumer recently indicated Congress may not approve the third stimulus checks until mid-March.

Under that scenario, you wouldn''t see another stimulus check before late March, and possibly not until April.

What if you need more money right now?

Unhappy Family Sitting On Sofa Looking At Bills
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

If COVID is battering your budget and you need additional cash immediately, here are a few ways to scrounge up some money on your own:

  • Shrink the cost of your debt. If you’ve been relying on your credit cards more than usual during the COVID crisis, you're probably piling up interest. Take control of your credit card debt — and make it go away more quickly — by rolling your balances into a single, lower-interest debt consolidation loan.

  • Find creative ways to save. Cut ties with any subscription services you're not using. Do more of your own cooking and stop your occasional dinner deliveries. And download a free browser add-on that will automatically hunt for better prices and coupons whenever you shop online.

  • Cut your insurance bills. Since many of us are driving less during the pandemic, car insurance companies have been giving price breaks. If your insurer is one of the stingy ones, shop around for a better policy. And, you could save hundreds on your homeowners insurance by comparing rates to find a lower price.

  • Refinance your mortgage and slash your payments. Mortgage rates have been lower than ever, so refinancing your existing home loan could provide major savings. Mortgage tech and data provider Black Knight says 19.4 million U.S. homeowners could cut their housing payments by an average $308 per month through a refi.