Second stimulus check: news summary for Monday 28 December

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Second stimulus check IRS updates today: when will it come, Trump has now signed, $2,000 payment...

Coronavirus relief bill: live

Second stimulus check: latest news

Headlines:

US House passes bill that would increase covid stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000 by 275-134 vote, needing two-thirds majority to pass, the bill now heads to the US Senate.

- President Trump has now signed the $2.3tn coronavirus relief and federal funding bill passed by Congress a week ago

- Legislation includes roughly $900bn in covid-19 aid

- Trump's delay in signing bill sees millions of Americans miss out on week of emergency benefits

- Government would have shut down on 29 December if the federal funding had not been signed into law

Democrats call for McConnell to allow Senate vote

Pelosi calls on Senate to back House stimulus boost

After the House of Representatives voted in favour of an increase to $2,000 from $600 for stimulus checks in the latest economic relief bill, in line with President Trump's call for a larger lump sum for US citizens, House speaker Nancy Pelosi has urged the Senate to do the same despite resistance from Republicans concerned about the impact on Federal coffers. 

 

Aid bill boosts hopes for US economic recovery

US stocks rallied on Monday, with each of Wall Street's main indexes closing at record levels as President Donald Trump's signing of a long-awaited $2.3 trillion pandemic aid bill increased optimism for an economic recovery.

In a sudden reversal late on Sunday, Trump backed down from his threat to block the hard-fought bill, restoring unemployment benefits to millions of Americans and averting a federal government shutdown.

"It's a positive tone to the US market and part of that is the signing of stimulus package by Trump, which appeared to be in doubt but is finally been accomplished," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. "We still have a follow-on to the Christmas rally and the favorable market we've had for a while here," he added. 

Mitch

Why a vote on $2,000 stimulus checks is an absolute nightmare for Senate Republicans

Following the approval from congress, this analysis from CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza on the forthcoming Senate vote on the bill is more pertinent than before.

Read more here

Congress approves $2,000 coronavirus stimulus checks

The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives voted 275-134 to meet President Trump's demand for $2,000 relief checks on Monday, sending the measure on to an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Unemployment benefits eligibility: who will qualify for new stimulus?

After President Trump backed down and signed the bill on Sunday, the CARES Act’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) extends the program by at least 11 weeks into March 2021.

MM

Next up for the stimulus bill...

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now in a tough position of having to decide whether to bring the provision to the floor in the Senate as a standalone bill amid Donald Trump's insistence to up the sum involved in the new bill.

The Senate reconvenes tomorrow (29 December). 

Nancy

Breaking: Congress pases bill

US Congress passes bill that would increase covid stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000 by 275-134 vote, needing two-thirds majority to pass and the bill now moves to US Senate.

Joe

Biden lends his support to $2,000 direct payments

Speaking on Monday, President-elect Joe Biden claimed he supports $2,000 direct payments when asked by a journalist. 

Asked if he supported the larger stimulus checks, without turning around or breaking stride, Biden replied “yes,” and walked off the stage.

Follow the House vote live

Watch the House of Representatives debate and vote on the bill.

The bill WILL pass, says Pelosi

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the chamber would take a second vote to approve an increase in stimulus checks to $2,000 from $600 requiring just a simple majority if it fails to approve the measure in an initial vote requiring support from two-thirds of the chamber's lawmakers.

Pelosi said the House would approve the bill in either event.

Wall St

Wall St follows European stocks higher on stimulus

Wall Street was on track to close at record highs on Monday, but crude prices lost ground as long-awaited pandemic relief and Brexit trade deals fueled investors' risk appetite.

U.S. equities followed the example of their European counterparts with a broad rally, and communications services and consumer discretionary stocks were leading the charge.

But crude prices slumped as weak demand and a potential increase in production offset the effects of the fiscal aid package.

President Donald Trump reversed course on Sunday by signing a $2.3 trillion stimulus and spending package into law, heading off a potential government shutdown and setting the stage for congressional Democrats to push for more robust direct payments of $2,000 to millions of Americans.

DT

Why a vote on $2,000 stimulus checks is an absolute nightmare for Senate Republicans

Analysis from CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza on the impending Senate vote.

Read more here

GOP lawmaker sues Pence

You'll need to read this to believe it. The Hill are reporting on arguably the most ludicrous scheme from the right to overturn Joe Biden's election victory. And that's going some.

As Edward Foley, a law professor at the Ohio State University, says, however, the thinking behind the plan is "inconsistent with a proper understanding of the Constitution."

When has that stopped them before? I hear you ask.

"It is good news that the president has signed the relief bill. But his delayed action cost Washingtonians a week of PUA [Pandemic Unemployment Assistance] benefits"

Jay Inslee, Washington Governor

The money is coming soon

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that checks will start going out by direct deposit within "one week" of the scheme being given the go-ahead. Clearly we're still unsure of just how much that is going to be.

"The good news is, this is a very, very fast way of getting money into the economy..." Mnuchin stated.

So when can people expect to receive the money?

Readying for the House vote

Philideliphia Congressman Brendan Boyle another of the many that will almost certainly ensure the latest bill makes its successful route through the House.

He has tweeted this evening, making a point of mentioning the lack of hardship for some key players in the current administration at this time.

Jobless claims: what you need to know

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance was abused with unprecedented fraud this year. How will the new safeguard this time round affect ability to claim?

Emily France takes a look.

#CASHAct now

Representative of North Carolina's 4th Congressional District, David Price has confirmed his voting intention.

A reminder that the House is scheduled to vote at 17:00 ET and we'll keep you posted on all the news surrounding it as it breaks.

Little confidence in bill passing Congress

Former Congressional Candidate Scott Huffman is sure that Mitch McConnell will prevent this new bill reaching Donald Trump's desk.

And he issues this reminder: 'Don't forget unless Congress acts, the Covid Relief Bill only has a 1-time payment of $600 and the eviction moratorium expires Jan 31st, 2021'.

Trump delay hurt millions of Americans

After calling the measure a “disgrace” just days ago President Trump unexpectedly signed the bill, which came less than 48 hours before the government would have shut down and just days before an eviction moratorium and other critical pandemic relief provisions were set to expire.

But it also came after two critical unemployment programs lapsed, guaranteeing a delay in benefits for millions of unemployed Americans.

The pen is mightier than...

In the interwoven economy that we live, the signature of the president had an expected ripple effect on the markets as the government shutdown was avoided.

Doctor who criticised Trump's Walter Reed drive-by says "I regret nothing" after final shift

The doctor, James Phillips, at the time called the stunt "insanity", and "political theatre"

"The fact that direct cash payments are even included is because of the Democrats"

Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts hits out at Senate Republicans who she claims have "fought" the Democrats on everything when it comes to economic support related to the pandemic. She starts; "these are survival checks."

What does McConnell's stimulus check chokehold have to do with Georgia runoffs?

Democrats' ability to deliver on their promise of more COVID-19 relief under a Biden Administration is tied in large part to their success—or failure—in the Georgia Senate runoffs. The politics around the $2,000 stimulus check show what is to come if they lose.

President Donald Trump has signed off a new stimulus package, after refusing to do so for several days over his displeasure with its contents, and on Monday lawmakers will vote on whether to boost the second round of checks from $600 to $2,000.

Trump forced the $2,000 check onto the table with his refusal to sign the stimulus bill. Its fate, however, like so many other issues, sits not in his hands but those of one lawmaker in particular: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

McConnell's power highlights the potential pitfall for Democrats once President-elect Joe Biden takes office. If the Republican incumbents in the Georgia runoffs win and the GOP retains control of the Senate, McConnell is again there to thwart Democratic ambitions.

Via Newsweek

Calculate Your Second Stimulus Check Now That Trump Has Signed The $900 Billion Relief Bill

Stimulus check calculator: new 900bn bill now law

Forbes has devised this nifty stimulus check calculator to help you estimate the amount you and your family may receive.

You simply input your filing status and income for tax year 2019, as well as the number of dependents in the household.

15 January deadline: what does it mean for stimulus check?

Following Congress passing a fresh $900 billion relief bill, Americans awaiting a second round of stimulus checks face a deadline from the IRS.

US screens 1.28 million people at US airports

The US Transportation Security Administration said it screened 1.28 million passengers on Sunday at US airports, the highest number since mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic slashed travel demand.

The number of US air travelers is still about 50% lower than the same date last year, but Sunday was the sixth day in the last 10 that volume surpassed 1 million. The rise comes despite public health officials urging Americans to avoid holiday travel this year as coronavirus cases have jumped. The United States has reported more than 19 million covid-19 cases and 333,180 coronavirus-related deaths. Over the last 10 days, about 10.2 million people have been screened at US airports, compared to nearly 25 million over the same period last year. US airlines are set to receive $15 billion in addition payroll assistance after President Donald Trump signed a covid-19 relief measure on Sunday.

The new government aid will requires American Airlines and United Airlines to return more than 32,000 workers to payrolls who were furloughed in October. Southwest Airlines Chief Executive Gary Kelly told workers Sunday in an email that the funding 'means we can stop the movement toward furloughs and pay cuts that we previously announced.... We currently do not anticipate the need to conduct any furloughs or pay cuts next year.'

Earlier this month, Southwest had issued notices to 6,828 employees warning them that they could be furloughed.

'An honest conversation'

For those looking for a little background reading to some of the thinking behind this bill, here is a thread from Rep. Katie Porter.

As she says in one of her posts, "We should not be thinking about the next covid package as "stimulus," but rather critically needed help for families to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. The American people need direct relief; it's past time for the federal government to act."

Replace "$600" with "$1,200"

NBC's Scott MacFarlane shares the text of the bill that will go through the House of Representatives this afternoon.

As you can see the idea is simple: strike any mention of $600 and replace it with $2,000.

The assumption, as we've mentioned, is that it will pass through the House with enough consent, then comes the Senate vote, which we expect tomorrow.

Biden's comments on $2,000 stimulus check

It’s clear that Donald Trump has been calling for a larger pay out than is in the new bill. What has Biden said on a bigger $2,000 stimulus check?

Senate Democrats set to support amendment of stimulus check to $2,000

Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that Senate Democrats will attempt to pass $2,000 stimulus checks.

What amount will you qualify for in the second round of stimulus checks?

How much will be in the post for your new stimulus check? It's likely to be smaller than the last and the amount will depend on your income last year.

All eyes on Senate as Congress prepare for vote on $2,000 stimulus check increase

Republicans blocked an attempt by House Democrats to approve the increase by unanimous consent on Thursday, but the lower chamber’s speaker, Nancy Pelosi has said she will hold a full recorded vote on the amendment today.

McConnell makes no mention of proposed $2,000 stimulus check in reaction to Trump signing relief bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has praised President Trump’s decision to sign the new, $900bn coronavirus relief bill, in a statement that made no mention of plans to vote on increasing the $600 stimulus check included in the bill to $2,000.

I applaud President Trump’s decision to get hundreds of billions of dollars of crucial covid-19 relief out the door and into the hands of American families as quickly as possible,” McConnell said, despite Trump delaying signing the bill by nearly a week.

“The bipartisan rescue package that Republicans in Congress and the Trump Administration negotiated with the Democrats will extend another major lifeline to workers at struggling small businesses, renew major relief for laid-off Americans, invest billions more in vaccine distribution, send cash directly to households, and more. The compromise bill is not perfect, but it will do an enormous amount of good for struggling Kentuckians and Americans across the country who need help now.

I thank the President for signing this relief into law, along with full-year government funding legislation that will continue the rebuilding and modernization of our Armed Forces that his Administration has championed. His leadership has prevented a government shutdown at a time when our nation could not have afforded one.

“I am glad the American people will receive this much-needed assistance as our nation continues battling this pandemic.”

Trump signs relief bill: what happens now with Americans' stimulus check?

US President Donald Trump has finally signed a $900bn coronavirus aid package, paving the way for Americans to receive a second stimulus check.

But will it be for $600 or $2,000?

Full story:

$2,000 check proposal likely to be "dead on arrival" in Senate

The Republican-held Senate is not expected to countenance a proposal to increase the $600 stimulus-check amount to $2,000, says Thomas Gift, an associate professor or political science at University College London's School of Public Policy.

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is due to hold a vote on the plan on Monday, but even if it passes the lower chamber, it is likely to be “dead on arrival” in the Senate, Gift told CNN on Monday.

Senate Republicans “have been saying from the very outset that they’re not willing to go over that $1tn mark [for the relief bill's overall spend] and they’re not willing to entertain any proposals that would see direct checks to Americans over this $600 figure”, Gift said.

It has been estimated that sending out $2,000 checks as part of the new coronavirus aid bill, which was signed by President Trump on Sunday, would add $385bn to the legislation’s $900bn cost.

Sanders: “Let's get this done – NOW!”

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) has urged Congress to approve a proposal for the $600 stimulus check in the new covid-19 relief bill to be increased to $2,000, declaring: “Let’s get this done - NOW!”

The Democrat-held House is due to vote on the proposal on Monday, amid doubts over whether the Republican-controlled Senate will back the plan, which was put forward by President Trump last week.

“Along with Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris and Sen. @EdMarkey, I've been fighting for months to get Congress to pass a $2,000 direct payment for the working class,” Sanders tweeted on Sunday. “The House must pass this legislation tomorrow and the Senate must quickly follow suit. Let's get this done – NOW!

In May, Sanders, Harris and Markey proposed the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, which called for qualifying Americans to receive monthly $2,000 payments until after the pandemic is over.

Pelosi: Republicans must "end obstruction" of $2,000 stimulus check

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the $900bn relief bill now signed by President Donald Trump is only a "down payment" on the economic aid Americans need amid the coronavirus pandemic, and has urged Republicans in Congress to get behind Trump’s call for a bigger stimulus check.

Pelosi plans to hold a House vote on increasing the stimulus-check amount to $2,000 on Monday, after Democrats’ attempt to push through the measure by unanimous consent was blocked by Republicans last week.

"The signing of the bipartisan, bicameral coronavirus relief legislation is welcome news for the fourteen million Americans who just lost the lifeline of unemployment benefits on Christmas Weekend, and for the millions more struggling to stay afloat during this historic pandemic and economic crisis," Pelosi said in a statement.

"This relief legislation is a down payment on what is needed to crush the virus, put money in the pockets of the American people and honor our heroes – our health care workers, first responders, transit and sanitation workers and teachers.  We need to ensure robust support for state and local government to distribute and administer a vaccine, keep workers employed and prevent devastating service cuts – and we must do so as soon as possible.

"The President must immediately call on Congressional Republicans to end their obstruction and to join him and Democrats in support of our stand-alone legislation to increase direct payment checks to $2,000, which will be brought to the Floor tomorrow.

Trump delay sees millions miss out on week of benefits

President Trump’s failure to sign the $900bn coronavirus relief bill by Saturday is expected to see out-of-work Americans receive the $300 benefits boost included in the package for 10 weeks rather than 11, CNN notes.

This is because the bill states that the unemployment-insurance supplement must end by 14 March and benefits cannot be sent out for weeks before a program has been given the green light.

This also means that people who are signed up to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation schemes are set to miss out on their payments for the last week of 2020.

Relief bill and second stimulus check updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live blog bringing you the latest developments on the new, $900bn coronavirus relief bill, which President Donald Trump finally signed on Sunday.

"The President is signing this bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for PPP, return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more," a statement issued by the White House read.

However, Trump's signing of the bill did not come soon enough to prevent millions of out-of-work Americans from missing out on emergency benefits for the final week of 2020.

Trump also reiterated his call for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to up the $600 stimulus check included in the package to $2,000, saying: “As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child.” 

The House of Representatives is due to vote on the proposal on Monday.

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