Second stimulus check: news summary for 8 January

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Second Stimulus check live updates: IRS payments, contact number, Turbotax & HRBLock... | Latest news

IRS stimulus check and US political news: live updates

Headlines from Washington

- Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia says he absolutely does not support President-elect Joe Biden’s plans for a major new economic relief package boosting stimulus payments to $2,000, a major setback for the proposal. 

- President-elect Joe Biden will release most available covid-19 vaccine doses to speed delivery to more people, a reversal of the Trump administration’s approach. 

- US stocks rose on Friday with the news that the US lost 140,000 jobs in December. The news gave hope that it would lead to a new stimulus package. 

- Millions of stimulus payments were sent to the wrong account for users of TurboTax and H&R Block. The IRS says that it is taking immediate steps to redirect stimulus payments to the correct account for those affected. 

- US covid-19 deaths break record at 4,000 in one day, according to Johns Hopkins University.

- Police have confirmed that five people died in the Capitol disturbances with 82 individuals arrested.

Trump posts video condemning rioters at the Capitol: "you will pay"

- Cabinet members resign over Trump's role in the attack on the Congress. 

- Capitol Police said late on Thursday that a police officer named Brian Sicknick died due to injuries sustained in response to the riot led by Trump supporters.

- Republican lawmakers speak out against Trump's incitement to violence in the aftermath of Congress attacks.

 

Millions of stimulus checks mistakenly sent to temporary accounts

Eligible Americans who have previously used tax preparation companies have found that the IRS has sent their $600 payments to an unrecognised bank account. As with the first round of payments, over 150 million people are believed to be eligible for the support but with government departments scrambling to get the money out as quickly as possible, there are bound to be some oversights.

California Gov. floats new stimulus check package

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California has announced a new budget proposal that he believes will help residents deal with the economic consequences of the pandemic, in one of the states currently worst-hit. In addition to to $600 stimulus checks currently being sent out, Newsom favours another round of the same amount with extra provision for vaccine roll-out and small businesses. 

This is markedly less than the $2,000 mooted by many Democrats who are hoping to use their unified power in Washington to get greater levels of financial support out to the people who need it.  

Progressive groups want Biden to ‘go big’ 

The Democrats will soon have a majority in the Senate after the Georgia runoff elections held on Tuesday and More than 100 progressive groups, labor organizations and advocacy groups are urging President-elect Joe Biden to use that majority to move quickly on a major coronavirus relief bill.  

For the duration of the pandemic they want to see an automatic $600 a week in supplemental unemployment insurance, along with other temporary programs. As well any relief package should include recurring stimulus checks that include immigrant families and adult dependents. They don’t specify the amount.

Check your mail box, there may be $600 

The IRS began sending out the $600 stimulus payments last week. Those that use direct deposit could already have them in their account, however there have been some glitches for those who used TurboTax or H&R Block, as well as some other online tax services. H&R Block and TurboTax say that they’ve solved the problem now.

For those that will receive paper checks or EIP debit cards the IRS wants people to know that unlike in the spring, the envelopes will be more clearly marked this time around, to avoid people throwing them out. The IRS said the latest batch of debit cards will be mailed in a white envelope with a label that "prominently displays" the Treasury seal. It is mailing 8 million prepaid Visa debit cards loaded with the federal stimulus payment. 

If you have questions about your payment the IRS recommends to check their Get My Payment web site. 

Breaking News: Trump’s Twitter account permanently suspended 

After initially suspending Trump’s account for 12 hours on Wednesday afternoon, Trump was able to Tweet again on Thursday but did not take to tweeting immediately. The temporary ban was on the condition that Trump delete several incendiary tweets which he did.

However the ban would be made permanent if he again tweeted inflammatory or false information about the election. In a statement the company said.

"After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence."

Intuit TurboTax says stimulus payment problem is fixed 

In a statement the company said that stimulus payments will begin to be deposited today for millions of our customers affected by the IRS error. TurboTax will be sending an email to customers to inform them of the deposit. The payment will be deposited into the same bank account that customers received their 2019 tax refund. They advise that you may not see the deposit immediately as some banks may take a few days to process the transaction.

SOS gives lifeline to live music venues 

Things are looking a little less bleak for independent music venues across the country in 2021. Many are still shuttered but with the passage of the covid-19 stimulus relief package which contained the Save Our Stages (SOS) Act live music businesses have access to an estimated $15 billion in grant programs. 

At least 300 venues that have closed forever since the country went into a lockdown, according to NIVA, an industry association. NIVA estimates that up to 95% of workers across the country have been let go or furloughed due to the pandemic. More than 272,000 people worked in America's concert and event promotion industry in 2019.

Biden passes on Bernie, he needs him in the Senate 

As 20 January approaches the Biden administration announced new nominations for roles that will be key to rebuilding the economy still reeling from the coronavirus.  

Commerce Secretary: Gina Raimondo, Governor of Rhode Island. As governor she created a program to help minority-owned and women-owned businesses access capital, worked with employers to design skills-training programs and put Rhode Island on the path to achieving 100 percent renewable energy. 

Small Business Administration: Isabel Guzman, Director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate. She previously worked at the SBA under former President Obama. She will be in charge of rescuing small businesses in crisis from the coronavirus pandemic and help provide capital to entrepreneurs. 

Labor Secretary: Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston. A former union leader in Boston, he has fought for a $15 minimum wage, paid family leave and front-line workers. 

Biden said that he had seriously considered Senator Bernie Sanders for the position but with the narrowest of margins in the Senate he could not risk control of the Senate in a special election in Vermont. Biden said that he will push for $2000 stimulus checks after he is sworn in and Bernie Sanders vote will be crucial, espcially now that Senator Joe Manchin has said he is opposed. 

US shedding jobs again 

US employers cut 140,000 jobs in December as the ever-expanding covid-19 pandemic led to more layoffs. It was the first monthly job loss in eight months however the unemployment rate remained at 6.7%. 

The incoming Biden administration has called for additional relief that seemed more likely after the Democrats swept the two Senate races in Georgia. This is until Senator Joe Manchin announced he is “absolutely” not in favor of the $2000 stimulus check.  

Despite the bad news on jobs, investors took the news as a sign that more stimulus will be passed pushing all three major indexes to record highs on Thursday. 

Covid-19 hospital affected by sinkhole 

A massive sinkhole opened up in the parking lot of a hospital for patients recovering from covid-19 outside Naples, Italy. The incident forced the closure of the building because the electricity was cut. Officials said it was over 21,000 square feet and 65 feet deep.

H&R Block says they fixed their payment problem

Road bump for $2000 stimulus checks 

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia says he absolutely does not support President-elect Joe Biden’s plans for a major new economic relief package boosting stimulus payments to $2,000, a major setback for the proposal.

He wants to focus on getting the covid-19 vaccine out. It's not clear Manchin's opposition would be fatal to the bill. Some GOP senators have publicly backed the larger checks. 

Biden to speed up vaccine delivery 

President-elect Joe Biden will release most available covid-19 vaccine doses to speed delivery to more people, a reversal of the Trump administration’s approach.

Biden has been critical of the Trump administration’s rollout of the vaccine with far fewer doses going out than were promised.

Only 6.25 million doses have been given in the US, as opposed to the 20 million promised by the end of 2020. 

GOP resignations: Betsy DeVos

The Republican Education Secretary DeVos Thursday announced her resignation following riots in which Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Wednesday.

Outrage over Lindsey Graham: move on 

Fractures and loyalties are reaching fever pitch in the US today following an extraordinary week. Calls to "move on" without consequences are being met with horror.

Trump: thinking about self-pardon power

President Donald Trump has been asking aides and lawyers, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone, about his self-pardon power, multiple sources told CNN.

Some of those conversations have happened in recent weeks, one of the sources says. It is unclear if it has come up since Wednesday's mayhem at the Capitol building fomented by the President's rhetoric or after his recent controversial call with the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Trump has asked about the legal and political consequences of a self-pardon, according to a source close to Trump.

BREAKING: the least surprising news of this week 

Donald Trump will not attend Joe Biden's inauguration on 20 January.

Cowardly Trump messaging confusion continues

The president just can't bear to be disliked. After sending out a video Thursday finally condemning his supporters who staged a storming of the Capitol on Wednesday, today Donald J. Trump has tweeted that his 75 million voters (presumably applicable to all who attended the protest on Wednesday) "will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form".

The message comes after some criticism and anger emerged on Reddit following the denunciation from the president the day before.

My stimulus check has gone to my old bank account

More technical problems have emerged with the IRS Emergency Impact payment system with some checks being deposited in the wrong back account.

Trump supporters furious at leader's condemnation video

It's a confusing day to be a fascist in America. Trump supporters have denounce president on Reddit after he suddenly decries Capitol riot violence he incited.

Donald Trump has performed a dramatic U-turn by condemning the violent mob of his own supporters who stormed the US Capitol Building, provoking anger from backers who “risked their lives” for him in DC. 

After initially telling the majority extreme right wing crowd that he loved them on Wednesday night, on Thursday another video was posted to Trump's Twitter with a far different message. Trump denounced the violence saying he was outraged, and that the perpetrators will pay.

This has sparked rage and fury on messaging network Reddit:

“Get f***ed. Seriously. I am now saying it. F*** TRUMP,” reacted Reddit user KAG_2020_BB.

“He’s disrespected everything we risked our lives for.

“I have a right to dislike Trump for this video… I respected Trump for everything he did for us, but he has now abandoned us and disrespected everything we believe in. I have a right to be angry. He can go f*** himself in this video.”

Second stimulus check: what does the IRS Get My Payment ‘Need More Information' error mean?

There are several reasons why you might be asked to supply more information to receive your second stimulus check. Here is what you need to do.

Trump denounced violence in U-turn against supporters he encouraged

Amid calls for impeachment and resignations, president issues first condemnation of mob attack.

More than 24 hours after he incited a mob to attack the US Capitol, Donald Trump has urged an end to the violence and finally acknowledged that Joe Biden will be the next president, saying in a video statement that “a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20” and promising a smooth transfer of power.

The statement was posted on Twitter – one of the only social media platforms to which the president still has access – following a day of silence after his unprecedented encouragement of rioters bent on insurrection.

The president began the video with his first straightforward denunciation of the ransacking of the US Capitol building, saying he was “outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem”.

Trump also claimed he had “immediately deployed the national guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders”. Multiple news outlets have reported that it was Mike Pence, not Trump, who deployed the national guard, while Trump resisted the measure.

Trump concluded his brief remarks by calling for “healing and reconciliation” and saying that “tempers must be cooled”. He included a final message for his supporters, saying: “I know you are disappointed, but I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning.”

US reports more than 4,000 covid-19 deaths in deadliest day of pandemic

As second stimulus checks of up to $600 continue to be sent direct to bank accounts across the country, the virus shows no sign of letting up. 

The US on Thursday shattered records for the number of coronavirus-related deaths on a single day, topping 4,000 fatalities for the first time. Experts worry that the new, more contagious strain of the virus that has already been detected in eight states could make matters worse.

“We are in a race against time,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told The Washington Post. “We need to increase our speed in which we act so that we don’t allow this virus to spread further and allow this variant to become the dominant one in circulation. The clock is ticking.

Donald Trump facing second impeachment as Pence silence halts 25th amendment option

President Donald Trump faces being impeached for a second time in his tenure as Democrats seek routes to strip his powers early with calls for the 25th Amendment to be used seemingly hitting a dead end.

Vice President Mike Pence has been pressed to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to have Trump's presidential powers stripped, with him then to become acting president for the remainder of the tenure.

Democrat figureheads House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called Pence on Thursday morning to discuss this point, though they did not speak to him and in a recent statement said he had not been in touch with them.

"The President's dangerous and seditious acts necessitate his immediate removal from office," the pair said in a joint statement. "We look forward to hearing from the Vice President as soon as possible and to receiving a positive answer as to whether he and the Cabinet will honor their oath to the Constitution and the American people."

The 25th Amendment route would require Pence's cooperation. With this potentially not forthcoming, lawmakers have drafted articles of impeachment as another potential means of ousting the president.

When will the Trump-Biden transfer of power begin?

The transition process between Biden and Trump is nearing the end, but has been broken into three phases which take place over roughly one year.

Musician Ariel Pink defends attendance at Trump rally

Indie musician Ariel Pink defended his attendance of Wednesday’s Trump rally in Washington, D.C., that resulted in an assault on the U.S. Capitol.

“i was in dc to peacefully show my support for the president. i attended the rally on the white house lawn and went back to hotel and took a nap. case closed,” he said on social media.

DT

Democrats inch toward second Trump impeachment after Capitol siege

Congressional Democrats were moving closer to a historic step on Friday as they weighed impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time, two days after his false claims of election fraud helped encourage a mob that breached the US Capitol.

Top Democratic leaders, including House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck  Schumer, called for immediate impeachment proceedings if Vice President Mike Pence and Trump's Cabinet refused to take steps to remove Trump from power.

"The president's dangerous and seditious acts necessitate his immediate removal from office," they said in a statement on Thursday evening, accusing Trump of inciting an "insurrection."

As calls for his ouster mounted on Thursday, Trump released a video in which he denounced the violence that saw one person shot dead by police and three die from medical emergencies. The Republican president came the closest yet to conceding his loss in the Nov. 3 presidential election, promising to ensure a smooth transition to a "new administration."

Who has resigned from the White House after the Capitol riots?

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos becomes the latest to leave the Trump administration over the President's involvement in inciting the attack on Congress.

How are the House of Representatives and Senate different?

One of the three branches of the US government. Congress is divided into the Senate and House of Representatives, each with separate and mutual functions.

DT

Four more Trump national security aides resign - sources

Four more senior advisers in the White House National Security Council have resigned following the storming of the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, according to a senior administration official and a person familiar with the matter.

The sources told Reuters that the officials who stepped down on Thursday, in a growing exodus of Trump aides, were: Erin Walsh, senior director for African affairs; Mark Vandroff, senior director for defense policy; Anthony Rugierro, senior director for weapons of mass destruction; and Rob Greenway, senior director for Middle Eastern and North African affairs.

Wall Street Journal editorial board calls on Trump to resign

The Wall Street Journal editorial board on Thursday called on US President Donald Trump to resign, blaming him for inciting the storming of the Capitol building on Wednesday by a mob of his supporters.

 

Trump

Trump's FCC chairman does not object to Facebook, Twitter blocking president

US President Donald Trump's top communications regulator said on Thursday he did not object to decisions by Facebook and Twitter to block the president from their social media platforms.

"Given the circumstances that we saw yesterday... I'm not going to second-guess those decisions," Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai told C-SPAN on Thursday, according to a recording of the interview seen by Reuters.

Asked if Trump bore responsibility for the violent actions Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, Pai said "it was a terrible mistake to suggest that the results of the election, and particularly the process that culminated yesterday.

Hello and welcome to our live feed coving all major breaking news from the United States as the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of let-up and after the aftermatch on the attack at Capitol Hill, Nancy Pelosi has called on Vice President Mike Pence to take steps to remove President Donald Trump from office.

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