For weeks, lawmakers have been debating about whether to provide additional coronavirus stimulus money. It's not yet certain how this will turn out, but one thing is clear: If another stimulus check comes, it will almost assuredly be your last.
Proposals to provide ongoing funds for months on end are almost certainly dead on arrival, and any bill providing a third direct payment would almost assuredly not pass the Senate. So if you get a second payment, make the most of it.
Why there's little hope for ongoing stimulus checks
Although there are some encouraging signs suggesting one more stimulus payment, even that isn't yet a certainty.
The House of Representatives narrowly passed the HEROES Act to provide one more stimulus payment to families. But even this passed on a party line basis with only Democrats voting for it. And 14 of them broke from their party, citing concerns about the scope and cost of the bill, among other things.
Republican senators share those concerns, and the HEROES Act has met strong objections from that side of the aisle -- so much so that Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell declared it dead on arrival.
Although that particular bill won't pass, there's still a chance some compromise legislation could include one more direct payment. The Trump administration has expressed support for sending out additional COVID-19 money and McConnell hasn't ruled it out.
But while legislation providing additional direct payments could pass, it's almost impossible to imagine lawmakers signing on for a third. In fact, McConnell has said unequivocally that if there is an additional payment, it will be the last one. And his conviction was likely bolstered by the latest jobs report indicating the unemployment rate fell from 14.7% in April to 13.3% in May even though experts expected an increase.
With the price tag of coronavirus relief already topping $2.4 trillion even without a second payment, the economy showing signs of improvement, and some lawmakers from both sides of the aisle already wary, all signs point to the fact that a third direct payment wouldn't even be considered.
How to recover financially from COVID-19 without more direct payments
For those who took a financial hit due to COVID-19, the fact that Republicans have essentially closed the door on ongoing stimulus payments may be disappointing.
Still, there are ways to improve your own financial situation even if no more COVID-19 money comes. Expanded unemployment benefits remain available through the end of July. And as states reopen their economies, there should be more job opportunities if you were laid off or had your hours cut.
It's also a good idea to aim to put some cash in the bank for an emergency to get through any upcoming tough times since more government money probably won't come. Using your tax refund is one way to do that, or you can make spending cuts to find extra to save. Knowing you can't count on more money from the government should help you get motivated.