Congress included payments of $1,200 in its initial stimulus when shutdowns because of the coronavirus began last spring.
Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley both pushed to increase the amount of the new payments, and President Donald Trump also came out in support of $2,000 checks — though he adopted that stance after leaving negotiations up to lawmakers and his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Trump stalled signing the bill over the issue but ultimately signed it into law.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York has said that one of the first bills he’d like to pass once he becomes Senate majority leader would raise stimulus payments to $2,000.
How much will recipients actually get?
Those eligible for the stimulus payments could receive up to $1,400 that would top off the $600 payments that began going out earlier this month. In a letter to his Democratic colleagues sent this week, Schumer indicated that he is planning on payments that would increase the total payout to $2,000.
“Democrats wanted to do much more in the last bill and promised to do more, if given the opportunity, to increase direct payments to a total of $2,000,” he wrote.
Undocumented immigrants who don’t have Social Security numbers are ineligible for the payments. But in a change from the first round, which was sent last spring, their spouses and children are now eligible as long as they have Social Security numbers.
During the first round, the federal government sent $1,200 payments to eligible Americans. They were mostly sent out between April and August.
CNN’s Kate Sullivan contributed reporting.