After both Democrats won Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff elections, cementing Democratic control in both chambers of Congress, there could be another round of stimulus checks on the horizon.
“Their election will put an end to the block in Washington (of) that $2,000 stimulus check. That money would go out the door immediately, to help people who are in real trouble,” President-elect Joe Biden told Georgia voters in the last days of the Senate campaigns. “Think about what it will mean to your lives — putting food on the table, paying rent.”
Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock beat Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Jon Ossoff unseated Republican David Perdue, meaning Democrats now have control of the Senate. That can make it easier for them to pass the $2,000 stimulus checks they have pledged to deliver.
“One of the first things that I want to do when our new senators are seated is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, who is likely to become majority leader.
The $900 billion coronavirus relief package signed into law in December included $600 direct payments to most Americans, half the size of the checks sent out under the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which provided $1,200 payments to individuals who met that same income threshold.
Another stimulus deal could come in March, according to Ed Mills, an analyst with investment bank Raymond James, and Heights Securities analyst Hunter Hammond, CBS News reported. Because the latest legislation extended unemployment benefits until mid-March, Congress could face pressure to pass additional aid, according to the news site.
“We expect growing anticipation that Democrats will pursue additional stimulus, with a $2,000 check (or at least the remaining $1,400) as a leading item,” Mills said, CBS News reported.
The passage of $2,000 stimulus checks may require the support of every Democrat in the Senate because the Democrats will control the chamber with a 50-50 split and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will have the tie-breaking vote.
“[The Democrats would] really have to thread the needle if they’re going to try to get anything through,” Michael Reynolds, investment strategy officer at Glenmede Trust, told Fortune in November.
Ossoff said $2,000 stimulus checks will be issued within two and a half weeks of the Georgia elections, WGXA reported.
“The House has already passed the $2,000 dollar checks it’s the Senate. This new Senate that is going to take office this weekend will pass the legislation early next week. We will get the checks in the mail and relief coming,” Ossoff said, according to the publication.
The Senate adjourned Jan. 1 without voting on whether to increase stimulus checks to $2,000 — a provision demanded by President Donald Trump when he signed the deal into law. The hopes for larger stimulus checks are now in the hands of the 117th Congress, which convened Jan. 3.
The two new Senators will be sworn in after Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, certifies the election results, ABC News reported. He has until Jan. 22 to do so. Any requests for a recount must be made within two business days after Raffensperger certifies the result.
The IRS announced last week that $600 stimulus checks started arriving through direct deposit on Dec. 29 and paper checks were mailed out beginning Dec. 30, according to a news release.