The Treasury and IRS announcements make a sidelong reference to the fight for $2,000 direct checks.
The Internal Revenue Service will distribute the $600 checks for every eligible man, woman and child, and people can check the website IRS.gov/GetMyPayment to see the status of their payment.
The portal is temporarily offline, but starting later this week, people can start logging onto it to find out the status of their money, a Treasury announcement said.
The same announcement makes a sidelong reference to the ongoing fight for $2,000 direct checks instead of the incoming $600 payments.
“This second round of payments will be distributed automatically, with no action required for eligible individuals. If additional legislation is enacted to provide for an increased amount, Economic Impact Payments that have been issued will be topped up as quickly as possible,” the announcement said.
The Senate adjourned Tuesday without taking up a bill that passed the House on Monday boosting the payments to $2,000. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hinted he might tie the bigger checks to other issues, like a repeal of liability protections for social-media platforms.
A growing number of Senate Republicans say they support $2,000 direct checks, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, two Georgia lawmakers running for re-election in the Jan. 5 runoff that will decide the balance of the Senate.
When the IRS sent out more than 160 million payments totaling more than $270 billion in the first round of stimulus payments, the agency invented the proverbial wheel that will make distribution roll quickly this time, said Pete Sepp, the president of the National Taxpayers Union, a right-leaning think tank.
“The infrastructure has been set up for this distribution method and has been tested already,” he said.