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Impact of stimulus checks depends on amount, economist says

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Posted at 7:50 PM, Dec 29, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. - Stimulus payments of $600 should begin hitting people's bank accounts on Tuesday night, Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin tweeted.

Congress and President Trump have approved $600 payments, but Congress is still debating whether to increase the amount to $2,000. The House and President Trump are on-board with the bigger payments, but it's unclear whether the Senate will agree.

"It all depends on the size of the check. $600 would likely be spent quite quickly and not be saved. $2000 per individual would likely tithe people over a little bit more," said Old Dominion University economist Dr. Robert McNab.

Between long lines at food banks and people looking for help, there is no question there's need in Virginia and Hampton Roads. One person on the News 3 Facebook page wrote about the impact. "I was on top of my bills until i got COVID... it's been hard to catch-up," the commenter said.

McNab recommends people try to save their stimulus checks, but understands that's not easy for everyone given the current circumstances. "We have a good number of people in Hampton Roads and in Virginia in financial peril and any funds that they would receive would likely be spent very quickly," said McNab. "Treat this as if it's the last stimulus check you might see."