Stimulus checks: With Democrats in control, when could we get $2,000 direct payments?

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ATLANTA (NEXSTAR) — While pitching to Georgia voters on Monday, President-elect Joe Biden said if Democrats won those races, $2,000 stimulus checks would likely be on their way to most Americans.

That ended up happening, so will checks follow? Soon, according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“One of the first things that I want to do when our new senators are seated is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families,” Schumer, who will become majority leader, said Wednesday.

Late Tuesday, Democrat Raphael Warnock was declared the winner of his race and an announcement for Jon Ossoff followed the next day.

“If you send Jon and the Reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door,” Biden promised Monday in Atlanta. “And if you send Sens. Perdue and [Kelly] Loeffler back to Washington, those checks will never get there. It’s just that simple. The power is literally in your hands.”

Both Warnock and Ossoff have said they’ve backed the $2,000 direct payments.

Previously, the GOP-controlled Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had been the biggest hurdle for getting larger direct payments passed.

So when could this $2,000 payment become a reality? That’s unclear. The results in Georgia would first need to be certified before the new senators take their seats. It’s expected that Republicans will file appeals to those results.

It took Georgia and two-and-a-half weeks to certify the presidential results. Therefore, you’d expect Warnock and Ossoff to be in their new positions before the end of January.

The Washington Post also notes it’s not clear whether the checks would be standalone legislation, which could move pretty quickly, or a component of a much larger package that may take time to work through.

The idea of a larger payment came about from President Donald Trump’s eleventh-hour proposal to increase the size of stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000. The $600 bipartisan compromise had been considered a done deal and had won sweeping approval in the House and Senate after the White House assured GOP leaders that Trump supported it. After the $2,000 proposal was blocked in the GOP-controlled Senate, Trump signed the deal with smaller checks.

Prior to the Georgia race, Biden noted he’d push for new direct payments but wouldn’t discuss a definitive amount. He had referred to this most recent $600 check as a “down payment.”

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