The federal government started sending its $600 stimulus checks Tuesday evening as part of a recently passed COVID-19 relief bill signed by President Donald Trump on Sunday, after some delay in attempt to raise the amount to $2,000.
Payments may have been direct deposited as early as Tuesday evening for Americans who have registered their bank details with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin tweeted Tuesday. The government will start mailing out physical checks or debit cards to everyone else on Wednesday, Mnuchin said.
Who gets $600?
Adults who earned less than $75,000 in 2019 or married couples filing jointly who earned less than $150,000 will automatically receive the $600 stimulus check. Eligible adults also receive an extra $600 per dependent.
Individuals earning between $75,000 and $87,000 or married couples earning between $150,000 and $174,000 in 2019 are eligible for reduced payments.
No action is required for eligible individuals to receive the payment. Anyone who believes they are eligible but did not receive the check can claim it in their 2020 tax return, according to the IRS.
What about $2,000?
A second bill which would raise the amount to $2,000 was passed by the Democrat-led House of Representatives Monday but was blocked Tuesday in the Republican-led Senate. The $2,000 stimulus checks have the backing of Trump but are still opposed by some Republicans who do not want to spend more than $1 trillion. Sunday's COVID relief package cost $900 billion.
On Tuesday, senate majority leader Mitch McConnell sidestepped the decision by asking that the second bill be tied in with other legislation, going against the wishes of the both the Democrats and Trump.
"Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2,000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!" Trump tweeted shortly after the McConnell's decision on Tuesday.
In the meantime, eligible recipients will still receive their $600 stimulus checks while a decision is made on the additional $1,400.