Third stimulus check: summary and news on Monday 1 February 2021

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Third stimulus check updates today: when it's coming, Biden executive orders, GOP senators

Stimulus checks and the latest US news: live

Headlines

- President Biden meets with Republican lawmakers on Monday to discuss stimulus bill proposals

- GOP Senators propose new $600bn covid relief bill with $1,000 stimulus checks (full details)

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

- More than 50 House Democrats urge Biden to prioritize recurring $2,000 stimulus checks

- Biden "open" to negotiation over eligibility requirements for third check

- Adult dependents could be entitled to $2,000 stimulus checks to make up for previous exclusion

- Proposal for increased child tax credit of up to $3,600 per dependent in stimulus plan (what can parents currently claim?)

- Democrats willing to use 'reconciliation' to ensure stimulus bill passes Congress

- Group of prominent women calls for $2,400 stimulus checks for mothers

- US covid-19 cases/deaths: >26.3 million / >443,300 (live updates)

"Biden's not going to accept a Republican plan that is so much smaller"

Despite signaling a desire to embrace bipartisanship during his presidency, Joe Biden is unlikely to agree to a stimulus bill worth much less than his $1.9tn plan, says CNN senior White House reporter Stephen Collinson.

On Monday, Biden met for talks with a group of 10 Republican senators who have put forward a counter offer of $600bn - less than a third of the spend proposed by the president - with further discussions expected this week.

The GOP senators' proposal includes a stimulus check of up to $1,000, $400 below the maximum direct payment in Biden's relief plan.

Collinson believes Democrats may well end up foregoing Republican support and using their majority in both houses of Congress to to pass a bill closer to the $1.9tn figure.

"Yes, Biden is trying to reach out, he’s trying to live up to his bipartisan promises, but at the same time the White House is making it clear that $600bn is not anywhere near enough, and I think that eventually the figure that Biden will have to settle on - and will probably have to do it with Democratic votes - is going to be much closer to his $1.9tn first offer," Collinson said on Tuesday.

He added: "Ending the pandemic, getting vaccines out as quickly as possible, mitigating the economic damage, alleviating the deprivation - millions of Americans don’t have enough to eat - that, at the end of the day, is going to be the thing that decides the fate of the Biden presidency […].

"Biden knows the stakes here, not just for himself but for the rest of the country. Although his opening offer is $1.9tn [and] he probably expects he’ll have to come down off that figure because that’s the way legislation works, that is why in the end he’s not going to accept a Republican plan that is so much smaller."

Local governments support stimulus package

Direct aid to cities has been a long battle in Washington. Some Republicans have fought it, calling it a "blue-state bailout." But mayors argue that the money and flexibility in spending is essential to getting the country to return to normal. 400 mayors of US cities signed a letter to Congress, urging lawmakers to pass Biden's $1.9 trillion 'American Rescue Package.'

"The $350 billion in direct relief to state and local governments included in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan would allow cities to preserve critical public sector jobs and help drive our economic recovery," reads the letter. "Providing direct, flexible aid to cities is the most efficient and immediate way to help families and their communities who have been suffering for far too long."

Biden stimulus plan could boost US economy

There has been much talk about the benefits of putting through President Biden's stimulus plan. Various figures for the plan say that it could boost GDP by 4 to 5 percent. One analysis calculates that it could create 7.5 million jobs, doubling economic growth, returning the economy to full employment year faster.

Republicans offer a trimmed down plan

The overall proposal from 10 Senate Republicans is less than a third, $600 billion, of what Biden, $1.9 trillion, is proposing. Here are some of the features of their plan in comparison to Biden's.

GOP proposal would deny 29 million people stimulus checks 

The Republican counterproposal on coronavirus relief unveiled Monday would potentially leave out 29 million middle- and upper-income earners who would qualify for stimulus payments under President Joe Biden's plan. 

The GOP relief plan would also provide smaller payments than Biden's. It calls for $1,000 checks and would provide the full payment to individuals earning less than $40,000 a year and couples earning less than $80,000. 

Biden has asked Congress to send an additional $1,400 to Americans who are already getting $600 under the package approved by Congress in December, bringing the total to $2,000. People earning less than $75,000 and couples earning less than $150,000 would receive the full amount under Biden's plan.

Biden meets GOP members to discuss stimulus

Biden is meeting with 10 GOP Senators to discuss their $600 billion coronavirus relief plan counter-proposal. The Republican lawmakers' plan calls for more focused and trimmed down stimulus checks. 

What has Biden said about $2,000 stimulus checks in the past?

President Joe Biden is meeting with 10 GOP lawmakers now to discuss an alternative covid-19 relief plan they propsoed which includes a significant reduction to the stimulus check provision. This new proposal comes after a group of House progressives called on Biden to prioritize recurring payments over a one-time stimulus check.

Biden’s $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief plan, called the American Rescue Plan, calls for a new round of direct payments of $1400 among other items. This measure would fulfill a campaign promise he made to voters in Georgia if they could deliver him a Democrat-controled Senate. However he is receiving blowback for not pushing for the whole $2000 amount.

White House stimulus meeting to take place shortly

The group of ten Republican lawmakers who helped draft an alternative covid-19 economic relief proposal are scheduled to meet with President Biden at 5pm (ET). Unhappy with the size of Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan they proposed a $600 billion alternative

The group is lead by Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, who is proposing a round of $1,000 stimulus checks which would be available for only the most vulnerable Americans. 

The other signatories are Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Todd Young of Indiana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mitt Romney of Utah.

"With the virus posing a grave threat to the country, and economic conditions grim for so many, the need for action is urgent, and the scale of what must be done is large.

"As leading economists have said, the danger now is not in doing too much: it is in doing too little.  Americans of both parties are looking to their leaders to meet the moment."

Statement from Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary

Georgia Sen. hits out at GOP's stimulus check proposal

In the fiercely competitive Georgia Senate runoff election in early January, the Democrats managed to flip control of the Upper House as Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock beat the Republican incumbants. Both Ossof and Warnock repeatedly promised that their election would lead to a third round of stimulus checks, which were included in Biden's American Rescue Plan stimulus package. 

But as the Democrats prepared to table the bill in Congress a group of GOP lawmakers have offered a counter-proposal which would dramatically cut the amount of federal funding. The new package contains stimulus checks worth $1,000, rather $1,400 in Biden's proposal, and would see around 80 million fewer Americans eligible to receive it. 

Proposed stimulus check comparison

For much of the pandemic Democrats and Republicans have been on opposing sides when discussing how much financial support is needed to address the economic consequences. The CARES Act, signed back in March 2020, was probably the high point of bipartisan sentiment and the two sides have seen eye-to-eye on little since then. 

In early January Biden announced the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package which he hoped to pass in the first weeks of his presidency. In response a group of ten Senate Republicans have tabled drafted their own proposal, worth just $600 billion. 

Stimulus checks has been a contentious issue in recent months and there are considerable difference between the two proposals. The GOP lawmakers will meet with Biden today to discuss the issue further. 

Here's what we know about the GOP stimulus counter-proposal...

In recent weeks Republican opposition to Biden's covid-19 economic relief bill have grown and he is thought to be considering using reconciliation to pass the $1.9 trillion package without their support. With this prospect looming, on Sunday a group of GOP senators wrote to Biden outlining their own $600 billion proposal, and calling for a White House meeting to discuss. 

The GOP package makes quite considerable cuts to stimulus check provision, reducing the maximum entitlement to $1,000-per-person. Furthermore the eligibility requirements are thought to be tighter, meaning that fewer Americans will be able to receive the full amount. 

The group are set to meet with Biden later today, ahead of his own bill being officially tabled in Congress later this week. This looks like being a crucial few days in the process of agreeing a third round of stimulus checks. 

Confirmation that GOP proposal decreases stimulus checks provision

At 5pm (ET) President Biden will meet with the group of 10 GOP Senators who yesterday proposed a new stimulus bill worth approximately $600bn. Their draft is a counter-offer to the $1.9trn package that Biden hopes to pass in the coming days, known as the American Rescue Plan. 

The Republicans' package is far less generous and as such there are some notable omissions. There is far less funding for education than the $170bn included in Biden's package, and some big changes to stimulus checks. 

Biden's plan would see a round of $1,400 stimulus checks distributed, with the eligibility requirements expanded slightly so more people can receive them. The GOP proposal would see the amount reduced to $1,000 per person, and limits the number of people who are able to receive the full amount. 

Stimulus support, not fiscal responsibility

Governor Jim Justice supports the idea that fiscal responsibility in such a grave situation for so many millions of Americans is not necessary.

Stimulus checks: round-up

NowThis bring you this handy video summary of the current situation with the third round of payments, with clips of some of the key players in the discussions making their stances clear.

A chance to go it alone

In this piece for the Washington Post, Greg Sargent points to this current position being taken by Republicans as a chance for President Biden and Democrats to do what they believe is the best for Americans, without the need to compromise.

US economic growth to hit 4.6% in 2021, says CBO

US economic growth will rebound to 4.6% in 2021 from a contraction of 3.5% in 2020, powered by a resumption of business activity and coronavirus rescue spending, but growth will taper off to below 2% by the end of the decade, the Congressional Budget Office said today.

The non-partisan budget referee said its latest forecasts are based on current laws passed by 12 January, and do not include any executive actions or stimulus proposals by President Joe Biden's administration.

As we know, a lot of stimulus talk is currently in the offing so it will be interesting to see how comments through this week after the forecasts.

Were previous stimulus payments targeted?

US President Biden is due to hold talks with a group of 10 Republican senators today over their $600bn coronavirus relief proposal - a plan that includes a stimulus check of up to $1,000.

The counter offer tabled by the GOP senators is less than a third the size of Biden’s $1.9tn American Rescue Plan (ARP), and significantly reduces the maximum stimulus check that eligible Americans would receive. In the president’s economic-aid proposal, the third round of checks would see people get up to $1,400.

We look at how the third payment could compare with the previous two regarding eligibility criteria.

What's recurring? Stimulus checks

Giving people money is a proven, fast, equitable strategy to spur economic recovery. The truth is, we need recurring stimulus checks in addition to established progressive policies—like unemployment insurance and the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit—that uplift all Americans, especially communities of color, until this pandemic is over.

The jobs crisis is severe and worsening: According to recent data, US employers cut 140,000 jobs in December. All were held by women, while men gained employment. On top of that, women ended 2020 with 5.4 million fewer jobs than they had in February, before the pandemic began, while men lost 4.4 million jobs over that same time period. And beneath this gender disparity was another problematic difference in job loss; Black and Latinx workers lost more jobs in December than their white counterparts. That’s a major blow, considering that Black and Latinx households are twice as likely to have difficulty paying their bills. They also face higher levels of food insecurity, covid-19-related mortality, and business closures than their white counterparts.

Natalie Foster makes the case for recurring payments under Joe Biden's administration has the pandemic under control.

Stimulus limits

For any proposal there were obviously going to be salary limits placed on eligibility.

Where this line is drawn is always a bone of contention and James Morrison points out that the Republicans' $100k familiy cap could be a challenge to push through.

Unemployment focus in stimulus relief

The US unemployment rate hit a record low of 3.5% a year ago, but that bit of history comes with a footnote.

It arguably was not the best overall time for workers in recent decades. That honor goes to the final months of 2000. Even though unemployment rates were a bit higher, wage growth was stronger and a significantly larger share of the population was either in a job or looking for one. It was a particular moment, with a younger population and women still ramping up their engagement in the US job market, and it is unlikely to be repeated in a country that is graying by the year.

As the effort gets underway to repair the hole carved in the job market by the coronavirus pandemic, understanding the differences between those two eras - one good, one even better - may be key to choosing the best policies to fix the damage and then judging when the task is complete.

'It is going to take a long time to get back to 2000, to the absolute best situation, if ever,' said Roberto Perli, an economist with consulting firm Cornerstone Macro. 'It might be impossible,' thanks to a population skewing older and thus towards a lower share of people wanting to work.

To gauge how US Federal Reserve officials might define their goal of 'maximum employment' and assess how fast the economy might reach it, Perli recently constructed an overarching view of the job market combining 22 different statistics into a single index. It pinpoints the late 1990s through 2000 as the high mark for US workers since 1990. Fed officials say they want a 'broad and inclusive' job recovery, noting that before the pandemic unemployment rates for Blacks and Latinos had set record lows along with the economy as a whole.

Can Joe Biden's new plan, or a compromise version of it with the Republicans he's meeting with today, aid those hardest hit in the job market?

Teaching challenges in Chicago

While the stimulus relief package is being developed this week in Congress, further tensions are growing elsewhere as Chicago teachers appeared headed today for a strike or lockout over their latest dispute with the third-largest US school district after the two sides failed to reach an deal on a covid-19 safety plan even as they vowed to keep talking.

The Chicago Public Schools late on Sunday told the parents of 67,000 pre-kindergarten, special education, elementary and middle school students who were scheduled to attend in-person classes on Monday to keep their children at home after it could not reach an agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union. The district, in a letter to parents, said it hoped to hold in-person classes for those students on Tuesday.

The union, which represents the city's 28,000 public school educators, has been locked in negotiations with the district for months over a gradual reopening of schools for the system's 355,000 students. The two sides have been at odds on teachers' demands for stronger safety protocols to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in classrooms.

Super Bowl LV: latest news

You may be interested to know that we now have a live blog building up to Sunday's Super Bowl in Tampa, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Kansas City Chiefs:

"The question on everyone’s mind seems to be: Will Biden endure the wrath of the left - and possibly even his own leadership?"

Monday’s edition of the Politico Playbook says we'll find out just how committed Joe Biden is to bipartisanship when he meets a group of 10 Republican senators over the $600bn covid-19 relief package they have put forward in response to his $1.9tn relief proposal.

Politico journalists Eugene Daniels, Rachael Bade, Tara Palmieri and Ryan Lizza note there are differing opinions within the White House over whether Biden should look to negotiate a stimulus package from a counter offer that's under a third the size of his bill.

"It’s pretty clear that Democratic leadership thinks the idea is a joke and is ready to move ahead with reconciliation. But there’s more ambiguity — and perhaps internal division — among White House officials about how to handle the GOP offer," the Playbook reads.

"Some Biden advisers are starting to argue that Biden can pass the bipartisan test without Republican votes. You read that right. 'Even with narrow majorities in Congress, [Biden] has the opportunity to build broad bipartisan support for his program — not necessarily in Congress but with the American people,' Anita Dunn told John Harwood in a piece for CNN over the weekend.

"But we’ve also heard from administration officials lately who do want to cut a deal. The question on everyone’s mind seems to be: Will Biden endure the wrath of the left — and possibly even his own leadership — to go for a less ambitious package?

"So far the answer looks like no […]."

Monday's Politico Playbook

"Presidency-defining dilemma" for Biden, says CNN's Collinson

Joe Biden is up against a “presidency-defining dilemma” as he prepares to meet Republican lawmakers over their counter offer to his $1.9tn covid-19 relief bill, writes CNN’s Stephen Collinson.

A group of 10 GOP senators have introduced a significantly lower, $600bn proposal that would include a third stimulus check of up to $1,000, a smaller maximum direct payment than the $1,400 put forward in Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

"The President must now evaluate whether the new Republican offer is a good faith opening bid in an effort to find common ground, or a bluff calling exercise that would cause lasting damage to a new President's authority and political capital if he were to accept it," Collinson says.

"And while Biden is keen to prove his capacity to make a divided Washington work, he knows he risks fracturing support from Capitol Hill Democrats if he significantly downsizes his own plan to win Republican support in the Senate."

Biden is due to sit down for talks with the Republican senators on Monday.

Is there a third stimulus check coming in February?

Here's our latest overall report on the progress of efforts to get struggling Americans a third stimulus check:

What's the current child tax credit entitlement? Who is eligible?

President Biden's new coronavirus stimulus package includes a boost for the child tax credit programme, but how much are parents currently entitled to?

Full details:

Biden will meet with Republican senators for stimulus bill talks

Joe Biden has agreed to sit down this week for talks with the 10 GOP lawmakers who have introduced a $600bn counter proposal to the president's American Rescue Plan.

Full details:

GOP senators table $600bn covid-19 relief proposal

A group of 10 Republican senators has introduced a counter-proposal to President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief package, putting forward a $600bn package that also includes a third round of stimulus checks, but would make them smaller.

While Biden's American Rescue Plan calls for stimulus checks of up to $1,400, the GOP senators' proposed bill would limit the maximum amount to $1,000 and would also apply more restricted eligibility requirements to the checks.

Full story:

US stimulus check news: live updates

Hello and welcome to our daily live blog bringing you the latest information on the proposed third round of stimulus checks included in President Joe Biden's $1.9tn American Rescue Plan.

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