$1,400 third stimulus check news summary: 24 January

US third stimulus check news: Sunday 24 January

Headlines

- Biden to impose South Africa travel ban to combat new covid-19 variant

- President Biden signs executive order on the coronavirus pandemic and economy

- Biden uses executive authority to fund 'food stamp' increase and retroactive stimulus check payments

- USA surpasses 25 million confirmed covid-19 cases

- Treasury to create new online portal to help make it easier to receive stimulus checks

- Growing number of GOP Senators publicly oppose the stimulus bill

- Stimulus check of up to $1,400 in new president's $1.9tn American Rescue Plan

- An estimated 8 million eligible Americans are yet to receive at least one of their stimulus checks

- Dem. lawmakers draft bill to provide $300-per-child monthly checks to parents

- US covid cases/deaths: >25.1 million / >418,982 (live updates)

Related articles:

Biden

Joe Biden seeks to speed delivery of coronavirus stimulus checks and food aid

US President Joe Biden on Friday will sign orders to speed the issuance of pandemic stimulus checks to needy families and increase food aid for children who normally rely on school meals for nutrition.

Biden is using the two executive orders to try to ease people's burdens while Congress negotiates the fate of his proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

"The American people are hurting and they can't afford to wait. They need help right now," White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese said at a press briefing.

"We're at a precarious moment for the virus and the economy. Without decisive action, we risk falling into a very serious economic hole, even more serious than the crisis we find ourselves in," said Deese

stocks

Asian shares near record highs as US stimulus plans offset virus woes

Asian shares climbed to near all-time highs on Monday as concerns over rising covid-19 cases and delays in vaccine supplies were eclipsed by optimism of a $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus plan to help revive the US economy.

Sentiment in the region was also boosted by a report that China had surpassed the United States to be the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in 2020 with $163 billion in inflows.

Global equity markets have scaled record highs in recent days on bets covid-19 vaccines will start to reduce the infection rates worldwide and on a stronger U.S. economic recovery under President Joe Biden.

Former Trump White House press secretary plans to run for governor of Arkansas

Reuters: Donald Trump’s former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will announce plans on Monday to run for governor of Arkansas, a source familiar with the situation said on Sunday.

Sanders will announce on video her intention to seek the Republican nomination for the November 2022 election, the source added.

The current governor, Republican Asa Hutchinson, is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.

Biden to impose South Africa travel ban to combat new covid-19 variant

President Joe Biden will impose a ban on most non-U.S. citizens entering the country who have recently been in South Africa starting Saturday in a bid to contain the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus, a senior U.S. public health official told Reuters.

Where is my second stimulus check? How to use IRS Get My Payment

The deadline has now passed for the IRS to send you your second stimulus check, but their free and easy tracker tool can provide you with payment status.

Biden's new proposal could be worth thousands to struggling families

Democrat lawmakers are currently working on a new bill that would see deposit checks worth at least $3,000-a-year sent for each child under the age of 18. Changes to the child tax credit allowance would see parents given up to $300-a-month to help struggling families through the coronavirus pandemic.

President Joe Biden has pledged to help families struggling through the economic consequences of covid-19 and after signing a raft of executive orders in his first week, plans are in place for further financial support.

On Friday Biden told reporters gathered at the White House: “There is a growing economic consensus that we must act decisively and boldly.”

Biden's economic advisor hosts "robust" stimulus package discussion

The fate of President Biden's $1.9trn American Rescue Plan hangs in the balance as Democratic lawmakers look to find a way to get the package passed in Congress as quickly as possible. Biden has extended some additional support through the use of execuitve orders in recent days but a large-scale bill that includes stimulus checks and unemployment benefits will require support in Congress

Brian Deese is was named the Director of the National Economic Council for the Biden administration having also served as a senior advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama. It remains to be seen if a bipartisan solution can be found to pass the proposed bill, or if ammendments will be needed. 

What is Joe Biden changing in the Oval Office makeover?

An important, yet often ignored, part of the transition process is the redecorating of the Oval Office, the main room where presidential business is conducted and the symbolic centre of power in the White House. While it is rare for there to be any wholesale change the incoming leader can personalise the office as he sees fit, and President Joe Biden’s choices are emblematic of the administration he hopes to lead.

Goolsbee: Biden plan "is not a stimulus"

American economist and writer Austan Dean Goolsbee has spoken to MSNBC about President Joe Biden's $1.9trn American Rescue Plan. Although the proposal includes many of the features from previous stimulus bills, such as financial support for struggling businesses and a round of stimulus checks, Goolsbee does not believe that it should be considered a stimulus bill. 

He makes the point that rather than using federal funds to kick-start the economy this is more about providing much-needed support in the short-term for those with no other option. Biden will hope that the package is able to pass Congress without too many ammendments but there is growing opposition from moderate Republican lawmakers. 

 

Here's what we know so far about the proposed "Golden State Stimulus" 

Earlier this month California Governor Gavin Newsom pledged an additional round of $600 stimulus checks for the state's lowest-income residents to ease the strain brought on by covid-19. Also included in the package was an extension on eviction freezes.

The proposal came as part of his $227 billion spending plan which included a $15 billion economic relief package as the state faced the height of its winter surge of covid-19 cases and hospitalisations.

"In these darkest moments of the covid-19 pandemic, this Budget will help Californians with urgent action to address our immediate challenges and build towards our recovery," the Governor said.

Sanders will use reconciliation to pass Biden's stimulus bill

Senator Bernie Sanders has confirmed that he is willing to use the Senate mechanism known as 'reconciliation' to pass President Joe Biden's covid-19 relief package with just 51 votes. Usually a legislative package of this size would require a 60-vote supermajority in the 100-seat Senate but in his new role as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Sanders could pass the bill with just a simple majority (51 votes, including the tie-breaker from Vice President Kamala Harris). 

The $1.9trn American Rescue Plan proposed by Biden last week would see another round of stimulus checks sent to elegible Americans, but some Republican lawmakers have argued that it is not needed so soon after the emergency $900bn package was signed in December. 

"The American people are hurting, and they want us to act," said Sanders. 

GOP lawmakers suggests giving $1,400 stimulus checks to vaccine recipients

Republican Rep. Steve Stivers has floated the idea of reserving the proposed third wave of stimulus checks for people who are willing to get the covid-19 vaccine when it becomes more widely available. Speaking recently Stiver said: “I hope the administration will look at that option because we actually buy something with our $1,400 — and that’s herd immunity."

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Stivers said that he believed addressing the public health crisis should be the focus of federal spending to combat the pandemic, and that encouraging as many people as possible to get the vaccine would be the best way to do so. In recent days a number of GOP lawmakers have flagged opposition to Biden's $1.9trn relief bill. 

Stivers said the move would "get people back to work, get kids back in school, get ourselves some herd immunity, get the vaccine distributed as quick as we can and get the uptake rate up. That's why I'd be willing to accept a $1,400 stimulus check if people are willing to take the vaccine.”

Trump administration had no coronavirus vaccine distribution plan

There was no distribution plan for the coronavirus vaccine set up by the Trump administration as the virus raged in its last months in office, new President Joe Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain, said on Sunday.

"The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House," Klain said on NBC's 'Meet the Press.'

Biden, a Democrat who took over from Republican President Donald Trump on Wednesday, has promised a fierce fight against the pandemic that killed 400,000 people in the United States under Trump’s watch. He signed a series of executive orders last week, including some that target vaccine distribution. Biden plans to partner with state and local governments to establish vaccination spots in conference centers, stadiums and gymnasiums. The new administration will also deploy thousands of clinical staff from federal agencies, military medical personnel and pharmacy chains to increase vaccinations, and make teachers and grocery clerks eligible.

Vaccination programs lagged far behind the Trump administration's target of 20 million Americans inoculated by the end of 2020. "We've seen this factor all over the country where millions of doses have been distributed, but only about half have been given out," Klain said. "So the process of getting that vaccine into arms - that's the hard process. That's where we're behind as a country. That's where we're focused in the Biden administration - on getting that ramped up."

Third stimulus check: update and rundown on Biden's $1.9 trillion relief bill

After signing a number of executives orders President Joe Biden is hoping that the American Rescue Plan will provide the covid-19 economic relief needed.

Full story:

$3,000/$3,600 child tax credit: how would stimulus payment work?

Full details:

"Golden State" stimulus latest details

Early January Governor Gavin Newsom of California proposed an extra lifeline on state level for those most in need of economic help due to the pandemic.

Read more: 

Democrats considering $3K child benefit bill

House Democrats are looking to introduce a bill that would permanently expand benefits to families with children. 

Reps. Suzan DelBene (Wash.) and Rosa DeLauro (Conn.) hope to introduce the American Family Act (AFA), which would provide a significant boost to the federal aid which families get under the child tax credit. It promises families $3,000 per year per child and $3,600 per year for chidlren under 6 years old. The benefit would be paid monthly — $250 per month for chidlren from 6 to 17 years old and $300 per month for kids under 6 — with the intention that families can get the funds before filing taxes and would phase out over time for higher-earning families.

Food stamps: how to apply and who is eligible

President Biden has signed an order expanding the food stamp (SNAP) scheme for families at risk of going hungry. Are you eligible and how can you apply?

Read more: 

Newsom indicates Golden State stimulus could come soon 

California Governor Gavin Newsom says in a video on social network Tik Tok in reference toa new $600 stimulus for some Calirfornians "we could get this done in the next few weeks." 

Fauci relieved that "science can now speak" in the White House

Dr Anthony Fauci has hinted that with Joe Biden in power, perhaps the US will have a better chance to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking at the White House on Saturday, Fauci, who was often belittled, ignored or completely dismissed by Donald Trump, told reporters, "The idea you can get up here and talk about what you know what the evidence, what the science is, and know that's it, let the science speak - it is somewhat of a liberating feeling".

Boris Johnson makes contact

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted a photograph of himself during an evening phonecall to US President Joe Biden on Saturday. Johnson is the first European leader to speak to president Biden since he was sworn in last week. It is believed that the conversation centred around free trade deals, climate change policies and issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic,

Texan rioter charged after storming US Capitol

Texas-born Garret Miller faces a number of criminal charges after allegedly participating in the 6 January attack on the US Capitol and posting online death threats aimed at Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez..

Using the initials widely used to refer to the New York Democrat, Miller tweeted "assassinate AOC" hours after he posted pictures of himself storming the Capitol. That tweet was in response to one in which Ocasio-Cortez called for President Donald Trump to be impeached, which he was a week later on a charge of inciting the mob of his supporters. 

Pipeline

Biden administration to unveil climate change policies

US President Joe Biden's administration is poised to release within days the policies it believes are needed to tackle climate change, Gina McCarthy, the White House's national climate adviser, said on Saturday. "We've already sent signals on the things that we don't like that we're going to roll back, but this week you're going to see us move forward with what's the vision of the future," McCarthy told a virtual meeting of the US Conference of Mayors.

McCarthy did not indicate what would be released, but a memo seen by Reuters on Thursday showed Biden will unveil a second round of executive orders as soon as 27 January that include an 'omnibus' order to combat climate change domestically and elevate the issue as a national security priority. Biden, a Democrat, has already issued executive orders on climate issues including canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and rejoining the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Both of those moves reversed former President Donald Trump's climate policies.

John Kerry, a former US secretary of state who is Biden's special climate envoy, told the mayors' meeting that tackling climate change did not mean that lifestyle choices would be compromised, such as driving less or not being able to eat meat. But the Biden administration and mayors and other local leaders will have to persuade Americans that curbing climate change "can be the greatest economic transformation in global history," Kerry said.

Stimulus check and US latest news: welcome

Welcome to our live blog bringing you all the latest information on the proposed third round of stimulus checks, as well as live US political news that may affect it.

President Joe Biden is set to begin his first full week at the Oval Office while the article of impeachment against Donald Trump for inciting the 6 January insurrection at the Capitol is expected to be sent to the Senate tomorrow.

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