Second stimulus check: news summary for 14 January

AS English

COMMENT

Second stimulus check: live updates - 14 Jan.

Headlines

- Donald Trump impeached for 'inciting' US Capitol riot in historic second charge

- US President elect Joe Biden outlines new stimulus proposal in a speech from Wilmington, Delaware Thursday evening, including additional $1,400 stimulus check payments

- Sen. Bernie Sanders named new Chairman of Senate Budget Committee, giving greater influence over federal spending

- National Guard mobilises across US ahead on Inauguration Day

- Deadline for second stimulus check payment (15 January) fast approaching

- Snapchat latest platform to ban Trump

- Senate Majority Leader-designate Chuck Schumer promises round of $2,000 payments

- Gasoline pushed US consumer prices higher in December

- IRS announce that over 80% of direct deposit stimulus payments have already been made

- New Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine promising in early stage trials 

- US covid-19 death toll now over 385,000, with over 23.1 million confirmed cases

Nancy P

Eyes on Pelosi as Trump impeachment trial timing up in the air

The timing of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial could come into clearer focus on Friday when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to take questions about her next steps at a morning news conference at the U.S. Capitol.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted 232-197 on Wednesday to impeach Trump on a charge of incitement one week after his supporters rampaged in the Capitol following a speech in which the outgoing Republican president urged them to fight Democrat Joe Biden's Nov. 3 election victory.

Trump, now the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, falsely claims he lost due to widespread voting fraud. He will likely be the first president to face an impeachment trial after leaving office.

Ten Republicans joined Democrats in supporting impeachment, while others argued Trump's remarks were protected by the  First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which defends free speech.

His trial in the Senate cannot begin until the charge has been formally transmitted to that chamber. So far, Pelosi, a Democrat, has stayed mum on when she will do so.

Joe

Biden to unveil coronavirus vaccine distribution plan as cases soar

President-elect Joe Biden will on Friday outline his plan to ramp up vaccinations against covid-19 as he prepares to take office amid soaring infection rates and an early rollout by the Trump administration he called 'a dismal failure.'

Biden has promised to take more serious action to curb the virus than his predecessor, President Donald Trump, and get 100 million vaccine shots into the arms of Americans during his first 100 days in office.

"The vaccines offer so much hope ... but the vaccine rollout in the United States has been a dismal failure thus far," Biden said in remarks late on Thursday as he unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan to tackle the virus and revive the pandemic-hit economy.

The Democrat, who takes office on Wednesday, is expected to set out in more detail his plan to stem the coronavirus that has killed more than 385,000 people in the United States and infected nearly 7% of the population.

Nancy Pelosi & Chuck Schumer release joint statement on new stimulus promise

In passionately endorsing what is being dubbed a covid-19 rescue package, Pelosi and Schumer wrote:

"The emergency relief framework announced by the incoming Biden-Harris Administration tonight is the right approach...to meet the needs of the American people. "

The package includes provision for $1,400 stimulus checks to boost December's $600.

WATCH LIVE

Biden unveils $1.9 tn coronavirus rescue bill inc. stimulus checks

President-elect Joe Biden is presenting his covid-19 recovery plan to the nation. It has previously been reported that the plan includes $1,400 in stimulus checks for citizens, $160-billion for a national vaccine program and more funding for state and local governments.

Biden't speech comes just six days before the official handover of power happens on inauguration day, 20 January and an impeachment trial is set to bleed into his first 100 days.

Biden set to unveil plan for $1,400 stimulus boost Thursday evening

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is unveiling a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan Thursday to turn the tide on the pandemic, speeding up the vaccine rollout and providing financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses struggling with the prolonged economic fallout.

Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. On a parallel track, it would deliver another round of aid to stabilize the economy while the public health effort seeks the upper hand on the pandemic, said aides who described the plan ahead of a speech by Biden on Thursday evening.

It includes $1,400 checks for most Americans, which on top of $600 provided in the most recent COVID-19 bill would bring the total to the $2,000 that Biden has called for. The plan would also extend a temporary boost in unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures through September.

And it shoehorns in long-term Democratic policy aims such as increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expanding paid leave for workers, and increasing tax credits for families with children. The last item would make it easier for women to go back to work, which in turn would help the economy recover.

Former Secretary of Labour reality check on stimulus check

In other news, America's billionaires could give everybody in the country a $3,000 stimulus check and still be richer than they were before the pandemic. It's past time for a wealth tax.

Trump seeking Bannon advice on efforts to overturn election 

Bloomberg and NYT journalists scoop that "president Donald Trump has repeatedly spoken by phone with Steve Bannon in recent weeks to seek advice on his campaign to overturn his re-election defeat, reconciling with his once-estranged ex White House strategist.

Trump's defeat has now been ratified by Congress and 6 days remain of his presidency. Joe Biden is pushing forward with his ambitious plans for the first 100 days in office, including a potential $2,000 stimulus check as soon as the end of January.

$3,000 toilet scandal over Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump's secret service detail

The Washington Post has broken the story that the couple had instructed their Secret Security detail not to use any of the half-dozen bathrooms inside the couple’s house, the Secret Service detail subsequently spent months searching for a reliable restroom to use on the job, according to neighbours and law enforcement officials. 

The eventual solution came at a significant cost to the taxpayer. Since September 2017, the federal government has been spending $3,000 a month — more than $100,000 to date — to rent a basement studio, with a bathroom, from a neighbour of the Kushner family.

Just six days remain of Donald Trump's single term as president. Incoming president-elect Joe Biden is now balancing holding Trump to account through impeachment proceedings and using his newfound majority in Congress to implement ambitious plans for the country, including rushing through a new stimulus bill which could promise up to $2,000 checks.

DHS warns taking down social media accounts could hurt intel gathering

As social media companies mount an unprecedented crackdown in the wake of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol -- deleting the accounts and posts of users they say are pushing rhetoric that could drive individuals to violence -- a Department of Homeland Security official has told ABC News there is new concern that such dramatic action could hurt efforts to gather intelligence on certain extremist groups.

"The pro, obviously is, you're removing that content from that and that ability for people to coordinate on these public platforms like Parler or Twitter or Facebook," a DHS official who requested anonymity, said. "But the con is that you're driving those folks that are intent on committing violence into more encrypted channels which limit the government's ability to track those."

The news comes as only six days remain of a chaotic and ultimately deadly final two months to Donald Trump's single term as president. Incoming president-elect Joe Biden is now balancing holding Trump to account through impeachment, and using his newfound majority throughout Congress to implement his ambitious plans for the country, including rushing through a new stimulus bill which could promise up to $2,000 checks.

Many U.S. workers support employers making covid-19 vaccine mandatory

Nearly half of employees — 46% — support their employers making coronavirus vaccinations mandatory, according a survey of LinkedIn users. The survey showed 40% of employees do not support the move and 14% said they were unsure.

Major covid-19 vaccine donor Parton to be immortalised in Nashville, TN

A statue of country music icon Dolly Parton could be added to the Capitol grounds in Nashville, Tennessee, if one state lawmaker gets his way.

Democratic Rep. John Mark Windle introduced a bill Tuesday that aims to honor Parton “for all that she has contributed to this state,” news outlets reported.

Aside from her status as a music icon, Parton is a lifelong philanthropist. She founded the Imagination Library, which mails books to children under the age of 5 across the world to improve child literacy, and her million-dollar donation to Vanderbilt University helped develop the highly effective Moderna coronavirus vaccine. Her advocacy for racial justice was recently celebrated in a mural in Nashville.

New stimulus bill comes at a time when families and small businesses are struggling

Democrat Congresswoman Marie Newman of Illinois has called on President-elect Biden to focus on small businesses and struggling families in the new stimulus package that is set to be announced later today. Newman gave her first speech in the House yesterday, and used it to call out Republican members who refuse to wear masks. 

Biden's new stimulus bill will act as flagship policy for an incoming adminstration that has pledged to make covid-19 response the focus during the first 100 days. As well as a new stimulus package, Biden has called on American's to get behind his '100 days to mask' initiative which he hopes will help control the spiralling case numbers. 

Over 80% want $2,000 stimulus checks

A new study has found that the vast majority want the next economic relief bill to include $2,000 stimulus checks to support Americans hit hardest by the pandemic. This evening Biden is expected to announce a new proposal that includes $1,400 direct payments, topping up the $600 stimulus checks currently being distributed. 

Here's a breakdown of the findings from that Data for Progress poll:

- 81% of voters believe that a direct payment of $2,000 should be included in the new relief package. That figure includes 90% of Democrats, 79% of independents, and 74% of Republicans polled. 

- 60% of voters are in favour of recurring monthly payments of $2,000, like the kind distributed in Canada.  

- 62% of voters support issuing $2,000 retroactive payments for the months in which Americans did not receive any form of relief. 

Biden nominee calls for larger stimulus bill to benefit communities

Cecilia Rouse, Biden's nominee for Council of Economic Advisers Chair, has called for more to be done to help the pandemic-hit economy. She favours providing additional, targeted support for those in need, something that she believe the President-elect is also on board with.

"The package the Congresss passed... is just a downpayment, we know that individuals are going to need additonal suport because we know that the unemployment rate is likely to be elevated", she said in an interview with PBS. The stimulus package that Biden announces this evening is thought to include additional funding to boost the existing unemployment benefits, which are just half what was included in the CARES Act. 

Biden: "We need $2,000 stimulus checks"

President-elect Joe Biden has reiterated his assertion that the $600 maximum figure in the second round of direct payments is insufficient to meet the needs of struggling Americans, declaring: "We need $2,000 stimulus checks."

In the tweet posted last Sunday, he added: "$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table."

As part of the $900bn coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress in December, checks of up to $600 are being sent out to people earning under $75,000 a year, with an extra $600 per child dependent aged 16 or under. It is thought that Biden's economic stimulus bill proposal (to be announced this evening) will add an additional $1,400 to top it up to $2,000. 

 

Biden stimulus bill to be announced tonight

President-elect Joe Biden will announce details of his new stimulus package proposal from Wilmington, Delaware this evening. The bill, designed to provide a much-needed economic boost, is thought to exceed $1.5 trillion. 

A Reuters report suggests that the $1.5 trillion package includes a commitment for $1,400 stimulus checks, to increase the value of the most recent checks to $2,000. Biden is also expected to announce billions of additional spending to help speed up covid-19 vaccine distribution.

One transition official cited in the report said: “I think you will see a real emphasis on these underserved communities, where there is a lot of hard work to do."

Biden expected to broaden eligibility requirements for third round of stimulus checks

US President-elect Joe Biden has stated his determination to get more direct money to Americans after he takes office, branding the $600 maximum figure in the second round of stimulus checks as "not enough".

Biden is expected to announce his flagship coronavirus economic relief bill later today, which appears likely to provide additional direct payments and a beefed up unemployment benefits provision. It remains unclear exactly how much a third stimulus check would be for, but it does appear that eligibility for the payment could be broadened, at least when it comes to dependents.

Sanders urges Dems to continue push for stimulus spending

During one of the most chaotic times in United States history it will be difficult for Congress to juggle priorities, but Senaotr bernie Sanders has called on the Democrats to "show that we can walk and chew buble gum at the same time". 

After Trump was impeached yesterday the issue goes to the Senate, where a full trial will be held. However this threatens to disrupt the agenda of the incoming President, Joe Biden. Crucial in Biden's first days in office will be confirmation of his cabinet, as well as passing a large-scale economic relief bill that is expected to be announced later today. 

Sanders has repeatedly made clear his support for more federal spending to help those suffering during the pandemic, and Biden has echoed his calls for $2,000 stimulus checks

New trillion-dollar economic rescue package to be announced today

Throughout the election campaign President-elect Joe Biden promised to prioritise the United States' covid-19 response and with less than a week until his inauguration we will soon get details. Later today he will announce his coronavirus economic rescue plan which is expected to provide trillions in public funding. 

“The price tag will be high,” Biden said of his planned package in Wilmington, Delaware last Friday. “It will be in the trillions of dollars.”

Biden has also publically supported a third round of stimulus check payments, arguing that Americans need $2,000 direct payments. It is not clear yet whether that would be in addition to the $600 checks currently being distributed, or if the new payments would be a $1,400 'top-up', but we should find out today.

Dem. Senator would not back another round of stimulus checks

For much of the negotiations the Democrats were looking to secure greater direct payments as part of the December covid-19 stimulus bill, and Biden looks set to announce $2,000 stimulus checks later today. 

However Senator Joe Manchin has publically split from the party and is pushing for a different outcome. In an interview with CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ last Sunday he argued that “it’s time now to target where the money goes”, rather than offering a third round of stimulus checks.

During the interview, Manchin said that he wants additional federal funding to be used to support those who are worst-hit by the pandemic but said that he would rather the money goes towards funding programmes, rather than direct payments. 

"I am on board by helping people that need help, people that really can't make it, people who don't have a job, they can't put food on their table. I am in total support of helping them," he said.

Details of Biden's new stimulus bill to be announced today

The events of yesterday in Congress, with the historic second impeachment of President Donald Trump, have slightly stolen the limelight of what looks set to be a crucial day ahead of Biden's inauguration next Wednesday. The President-elect is set to announce his new covid-19 economic stimulus plan which is expected to provide trillions of dollars in federal funding. 

It is thought that another round of stimulus check payments will be included in the package, after Biden publically supported the idea of $2,000 on Twitter recently. He tweeted: "$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table. We need $2,000 stimulus checks."

Also expected in the bill is an improved child benefits provision that aims to lift families out of poverty at a time when so many have lost their jobs. 

DT

ICYMI: Donald Trump impeached for 'inciting' US Capitol riot in historic second charge

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday made Donald Trump the first US president ever to be impeached twice, formally charging him with inciting an insurrection in a vote held a week after a violent mob of his supporters besieged the Capitol. 

The Democratic-led House's 232-197 passage of a single article of impeachment in a historic vote in the waning days of Trump's four-year term in office does not remove him from office. Rather it moves the drama over his political fate to the Senate, which remains in the hands of Trump's fellow Republicans for now but later this month will be under Democratic control.

shares

Dollar holds gains as expectations for Biden's stimulus grow

The dollar held above three-year lows versus major peers on Thursday as expectations for President-elect Joe Biden's fiscal stimulus pushed yields of U.S. government bonds higher.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose after CNN reported the stimulus will be around $2 trillion, adding support for the dollar. In early European morning trading, the dollar index was little changed, up 0.04% at 90.320, as investors waited for Biden to give details later today of a plan for 'trillions' of dollars in pandemic relief.

The dollar has risen in four of the past five trading sessions as the prospect of more stimulus has weighed on U.S. government bonds, sending the benchmark Treasury yield above 1% for the first time since March. Expectations are already running high for the stimulus, but many analysts believe the spending push has already been priced in.

'We feel the fiscal cat is out of the bag already: it would take a lot to surprise markets after the re-pricing seen last week', ING analysts said. 'The scope for the reflation trade to restart on the back of this announcement alone is limited.'

TH

Tom Hanks to host televised special for Biden's inauguration

Actor Tom Hanks will host a primetime television special on Jan. 20 to celebrate the inauguration of Joe Biden as president, organizers said on Wednesday.

The 90-minute "Celebrating America" special will feature appearances by celebrities including Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato Justin Timberlake and Ant Clemons, according to a statement from Biden's inaugural committee.

Democrats Biden and Kamala Harris, who will be sworn in earlier in the day as president and vice president, also will deliver remarks.

Biden's committee has scaled back the usual inaugural events due to the covid-19 pandemic, canceling the traditional parade and inaugural balls normally held in Washington.

The television special "will showcase the American people's resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild", the inaugural committee said.

The program will be broadcast on television networks CBS, ABC, CNN, NBC and MSNBC, and streamed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other online platforms.

Third stimulus check: what would a "targeted" package mean?

President-elect Joe Biden is in favour of a new covid-19 relief bill that provides $2,000 stimulus checks but some in his party want a more focused package.

Twitter CEO says banning Trump was right decision but sets dangerous precedent

​​​​​​Twitter Inc Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said on Wednesday that banning President Donald Trump from its social media platform after last week's violence at the US Capitol was the "right decision," but said it sets a dangerous precedent.

San Francisco-based Twitter last week removed Trump's account, which had 88 million followers, citing the risk of further violence following the storming of the Capitol by supporters of the president.

"Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation," Dorsey said on Twitter.

They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a  part of the global public conversation."

The ban drew criticism from some Republicans who said it quelled the president's right to free speech. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned through a spokesman that legislators, not private companies, should decide on potential curbs to free expression.

Snapchat

Trump now banned on Snapchat

Snap Inc is permanently terminating US President Donald Trump's Snapchat account, a company spokeswoman said in a statement on Wednesday.

Snap had announced an indefinite suspension of the account following the violent unrest at the Capitol last week. It said it had decided to permanently ban the account "in the interest of public safety, and based on his attempts to spread misinformation, hate speech, and incite violence."

Which Republicans supported Trump’s impeachment?

With seven days until the official handover of power to Joe Biden, the House of Representatives has made Trump the only president to be impeached twice.

Where is my second stimulus check: what to do if you haven't received it after January 15

We outline some courses of action to consider if you have not received your stimulus payment after the IRS' January 15 deadline.

Hello and welcome 

​​​​​​Hello and welcome as we begin our live blog this Thursday morning, 14 January. We'll be bringing you all the latest news and reaction from the US related to the coronavirus, politics and stimulus checks throughout the day

.