Find out what officials are saying — and what history says — about whether you're likely to get more crisis cash from Uncle Sam.

Trump open to another coronavirus bill, with more checks

Tax refund check with a green background
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The president says officials are considering another round of checks.

The first round of payments to Americans came from the Cares Act, a whopping $2 trillion measure President Donald Trump signed in late March. The aim was to stimulate the U.S. economy as it slumps toward a recession amid massive unemployment and business closures caused by the coronavirus.

This month, Trump indicated he was open to providing more cash.

“We could very well do a second round of direct (payments)," he told a news conference. "It is absolutely under serious consideration."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she supports getting more money into the hands of Americans, though she hasn't said how much. Other lawmakers have amounts in mind, to help Americans struggling with mortgage payments and other bills.

Democratic Congressmen Ro Khanna of California and Tim Ryan of Ohio are proposing that the government pay $2,000 a month for up to 12 months to Americans over age 16.

"Americans need sustained cash infusions for the duration of this crisis in order to come out on the other side alive, healthy and ready to get back to work," says Khanna, in a news release.

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'Cares Act II' called a necessity

American Capital Building in Washington DC .
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Congress could pass another stimulus bill relatively soon.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who recently bowed out of the Democratic presidential race, also is calling for direct payments of $2,000 a month.

But Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri has a different suggestion: He wants the government to cover as much as 80% of wages for U.S. businesses — up to the national median wage — until the crisis ends.

"The goal must be to get unemployment down — now — to secure American workers and their families, and to help businesses get ready to restart as soon as possible," Hawley writes, in The Washington Post.

Forecasters at the giant Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs predict the government will have to do something more, and that a new coronavirus relief bill could include more cash for individuals, according to Forbes.

Personal finance guru Suze Orman says lawmakers must distribute more money.

"How can they not? $1,200 isn’t going to get anyone anywhere. It should’ve been $9,000," she tells Deadline. "They should’ve just done it. They should’ve just given every single person $9,000."

The government did send out two rounds of stimulus checks after the last big financial crisis, in 2008, though the second payments went only to retirees on Social Security and other government beneficiaries.

Millions still wait for the first stimulus checks

Head shot serious puzzled African American businessman looking for his stimulus payment
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Eight million have received their money, but others are still waiting.

The U.S. Treasury says more than 80 million Americans received their Cares Act relief payments by direct deposit during the first phase of distribution.

They're using the money to pay bills and buy essentials — or, if they're still working, invest in themselves. A person could, for example, take advantage of an appealing offer to open a new bank account and build up emergency savings.

Or, stimulus money could be used to buy an affordable life insurance policy to provide a family with financial protection in case a health crisis takes the life of a breadwinner.

Meanwhile, millions are still waiting for their government cash, because of a few issues.

Payments have been delayed for Americans who file their taxes using popular tax software, because the IRS doesn't have their direct deposit information on file, according to multiple media reports.

If you're among the yet-to-be-paid and were expecting a direct deposit, you can go to the IRS Get My Payment page to make sure the tax agency has your bank account information.

Americans who prefer to receive a paper check will be waiting for their money for a few more weeks. The checks are scheduled to start going out the week of May 4.

Treasury officials say that was the schedule all along. They deny that a process to add Trump's signature to the checks (in the "memo" line) is delaying their delivery.

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About the Author

Doug Whiteman

Doug Whiteman

Editor-in-Chief

Doug Whiteman is the editor-in-chief of MoneyWise. He has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and CNBC.com and has been interviewed on Fox Business, CBS Radio and the syndicated TV show "First Business."