Biden wants to increase stimulus checks to $2,000. Here’s what we know about those payments


U.S. President-elect Joe Biden jokingly thanks voters for Georgia certifying his victory three times as he campaigns on behalf of Democratic U.S. Senate candidates from Georgia Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, ahead of their January 5 run-off elections, during a drive-in campaign rally in Atlanta, Georgia, January 4, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The push for $2,000 stimulus checks is about to get stronger.

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to call for sending additional $1,400 payments to Americans following the $600 second stimulus checks that were recently deployed.

The bigger stimulus checks are aimed at helping households in need and stimulating spending that would boost both small businesses and the economy, according to an outline of Biden’s stimulus plan released ahead of a speech scheduled for Thursday night.

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Biden’s move comes after disagreements on both sides of the aisle in Congress led lawmakers to abandon efforts to pass $2,000 checks in December. Instead, they stuck with sums of $600 per person, half the amount of the first $1,200 stimulus checks.

But many lawmakers, including Biden, still think higher payments are needed.

The $600 payments included children under age 17 in families who qualified for the money. Biden wants to expand the payments to include all adult dependents.

As with the $600 payments, mixed status households, where one spouse does not have a valid Social Security number, would also be eligible under Biden’s plan. In those families, spouses and children with Social Security numbers would qualify for checks.

The plan outline also said the incoming administration wants to make sure the Treasury Department has “flexibility and resources” to get checks to families who still haven’t received their first stimulus checks, as well as others in need.

“The big determining factor on when folks would see that top up really comes down to how long it takes something like this to get through Congress,” said Garrett Watson, senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation.

It may take a couple of months for lawmakers to come to an agreement on another relief package, he said. The new administration will want to get more aid approved in its first 100 days, and stimulus checks will be a high priority with that.

Once Congress approves more checks, qualifying individuals and families who have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS could get the money very quickly, Watson said.

As with the previous direct payments, those who receive the money by paper check or debit card could face longer waits.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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