What Is Happening With The New Stimulus Checks?

The talk of a second stimulus check for the American people has been a big topic recently.  On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell halted another round of checks.  What does this mean for the country?

Voting for this round of checks was unanimous.  McConnell’s decision to go against the majority, including President Trump, ultimately prevents having an immediate vote to increase the monetary amount of the new stimulus checks (NY Times).  

This decision does not mean that McConnell has given up.  He wants to deal with President Trump’s veto of a defense bill on Wednesday.  He also wants to address Section 230 (Nelson).  While he didn’t approve the original stimulus check bill, McConnell provided his own bill on Tuesday.  He has combined the $2,000 stimulus checks with repealing Section 230 and a commission to look at election fraud (Sonnemaker). 

“McConnell’s decision to tie increased stimulus checks to a Section 230 repeal and election fraud commission may sink the effort by pressuring Democrats to vote against the bill or help Trump notch three wins” (Sonnemaker).

Section 230 doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the stimulus checks, but it does deserve some attention.  What the law does, generally, is protect media platforms from lawsuits.  It states that “…platforms cannot be treated as publishers of—and thus held liable for—content produced by others. It also allows those companies to voluntarily take actions in “good faith” to moderate content” (Siripurapu).  Many believe that this law is what allows the internet to be what it is today.  Surprisingly, both Trump and Biden agree that it needs to be repealed (Siripurapu). 

Though the $2,000 checks are still in question, $600 checks will be sent out.  The payments first became available on Tuesday.  Along with the personal $600, an additional $600 will be given for each dependent.  The full $2,000, should it be agreed upon, will be given even if a person has already received the $600 (Tsekova).  

Kilgore, Ed. “Why Did McConnell Block $2,000 Stimulus Checks?” Intelligencer, Intelligencer, 29 Dec. 2020, nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/12/why-did-mitch-mcconnell-block-usd2-000-stimulus-checks.html.

Nelson, Steven. “Mitch McConnell Blocks Unanimous Vote on $2,000 COVID-19 Stimulus Checks.” New York Post, New York Post, 29 Dec. 2020, nypost.com/2020/12/29/mitch-mcconnell-blocks-unanimous-passage-of-2000-covid-checks/.

Siripurapu, Anshu. “Trump and Section 230: What to Know.” Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations, 2 Dec. 2020, http://www.cfr.org/in-brief/trump-and-section-230-what-know.

Thrush, Glenn. “Presidential Transition Live Updates: Pressure Grows on Senate to Approve $2,000 Stimulus Checks.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 29 Dec. 2020, http://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/12/29/us/joe-biden-trump.

Tsekova, Denitsa. “$600 Stimulus Checks Arriving ‘as Early as Tonight’ While Increase to $2,000 Stalls in Senate.” Yahoo!, Yahoo!, 29 Dec. 2020, http://www.yahoo.com/money/stimulus-checks-on-way-irs-001705641.html.

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