Eligibility cutoff being considered for second round of stimulus checks

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Some argue that limiting eligibility isn’t the best course of action

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently said that a second stimulus check “could well be” part of the next coronavirus relief bill. However, that next round of checks could come with a $40,000 income eligibility cap. 

“I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less,” he said, adding that the country “needs one last boost.” 

However, some lawmakers are not fully on board with the idea of limiting eligibility. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during a news conference at the U.S Capitol that the coronavirus pandemic has taken a financial toll on many families, not just those making under $40,000 per year. 

“I think there are many families, depending on the size of the family, so many different things, that $40,000 would have to be explained, justified, the rest,” Pelosi said. “But I think families making over $40,000 probably need assistance. Again, just depending on their family situation.”

Critics of the proposal to limit eligibility have suggested a targeted stimulus to assist households that have had their income cut during the pandemic. 

“Replacing this lost income will help keep consumers current on bills and maintain a level of spending that is beneficial to the economic recovery,” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate, told Forbes.

Uncertainty regarding eligibility 

While it’s uncertain whether the $40,000 cutoff will be imposed, McConnell says the next round of checks will be distributed the same way as the first. 

"We are looking at another direct payment," McConnell said on Tuesday.

Lawmakers are set to discuss stimulus check qualifications later this month. 

"As soon as the Senate gets back [from its current break], we are going to sit down on a bipartisan basis with the Republicans and the Democrats," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC

Mnuchin said the goal is for the next legislation to be passed between July 20 and early August.

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