When Would Stimulus Checks Need Sign Off for Money to Arrive Pre-Election?


President Donald Trump has insisted he would sign a standalone bill prior the election for more stimulus checks to be sent to Americans—though time is running out for money to be able to arrive with people before Election Day on November 3.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing ceremony for H.R. 748, the CARES Act in the Oval Office of the White House on March 27, 2020. He has said he would sign a standalone bill to grant more Economic Impact Payments.


© Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing ceremony for H.R. 748, the CARES Act in the Oval Office of the White House on March 27, 2020. He has said he would sign a standalone bill to grant more Economic Impact Payments.

While Trump called off talks aiming to agree a bipartisan relief package amid the COVID-19 crisis, he has indicated a willingness to enact measures in a piecemeal fashion and has declared his support for a further round of Economic Impact Payments.

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In regards to signing such a bill, he tweeted: “Move Fast, I Am Waiting To Sign!”

The CARES Act, which was signed more than six months ago, granted eligible individuals $1,200, which was paid via direct deposit, checks or on pre-paid debit cards.

A second round of such payments would likely be processed by the Internal Revenue Service faster than the first round, according to IRS managers, although there would still be a delay in them being approved for distribution.

It has previously been suggested by IRS managers that a second round of payments would be released faster than the first, because relevant systems would already be in place and more people’s details would likely be up to date.

However, though the process could be quicker, there would still be a cut off as to how late payments could be sent in order to arrive before Election Day, Chad Hooper, the national president of the Professional Managers Association (PMA) which represents managers at the IRS, told Newsweek.

He said that for most people to receive direct payments by November 3, the payments would need to be sent by mid-October. Hooper said he understood that October 21 would be the last possible date for Economic Impact Payments to be sent to taxpayer’s accounts in order for the payments to be received by Election Day.

However, due to banks taking time to post Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) from the IRS, for most people to get the payments by Election Day they would need to be sent slightly earlier.

“Some banks take up to five business days to post EFTs from the IRS so we would ensure as many as possible received the payment by 11/3 to have that transaction post to accounts by 10/15,” Hooper told Newsweek.

Newsweek has contacted the IRS, the Treasury and the White House for comment.

While there have long been disagreements on aspects of stimulus, a further round of Economic Impact Payments has garnered bipartisan support from lawmakers and the public alike.

Polling has indicated most Americans see a further stimulus package as being a necessity, while many would like checks to help cover expenses such as basic living costs.

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