Third stimulus check: summary and news on 07 February 2021

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$1,400 stimulus check updates today: who qualifies, when to expect and Senate vote | Latest news

US stimulus check latest news: Sunday 7 February 2021


- The Senate adopts a budget resolution that will allow the $1.9trn stimulus bill to be passed (full story)

- VP Kamala Harris required to break Senate deadlock (51-50)

- Senate voted in favor of non-binding amendment to tighten stimulus check eligibility

- Over 50 House Democrats urge Biden to maintain $75,000/$150,000 income thresholds

- Group of 10 Republican lawmakers had proposed new $600bn covid relief bill with $1,000 stimulus checks

- GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell: "They've chosen a totally partisan path."

- Biden intent on passing $1,400 stimulus checks as part of his American Rescue Plan (full story)

US covid-19 cases/deaths: >26.9 million / 462,181 (live updates)

Democrats set to unveil Child Tax Credit on Monday 

House Democratic leaders will unveil legislation for a Child Tax Credit Monday that would advance a key provision in the American Rescue Plan, President Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief legislation.  

The legislation would provide $3,600 per child under the age of six and $3,000 per child age six through 17 for a single year. The full benefit is available to single parents earning up to $75,000 annually and for couples earning up to $150,000. Payments would phase out after those thresholds.

Third stimulus check threshold should be at least $60K, says treasury secretary Janet Yellen

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday said that Americans earning $60,000 should be eligible to receive the $1,400 stimulus check in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package.

On Friday morning, the Democrat-led Senate backed Biden's American Rescue Plan with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote on a budget resolution, paving the way for the president to deliver his relief package quickly without GOP support. But the White House says that the income threshold for the direct payments is still up for negotiation.

Income eligibility was initially set at $75,000, in line with the first two rounds of checks. But Republicans want to lower the threshold, and moderate Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia has called for the payments to phase out from $50,000.

Yellen told CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday that Americans earning $60,000 should receive the payments. "If you think about an elementary school teacher or a policeman making $60,000 a year and faced with children who are out of school and people who may have had to withdraw from the labor force in order to take care of them and many extra burdens, [Biden] thinks, and I would certainly agree, that it's appropriate for people there to get support," she said.

Joe Biden throws shade on Trump's handling of pandemic 


Bernie Sanders: "absurd" to phase out stimulus check before $75,000

Hedge funds bet on oil's 'big comeback' after pandemic hobbles producers

Reuters: Hedge funds are turning bullish on oil once again, betting the pandemic and investors’ environmental focus has severely damaged companies’ ability to ramp up production.

Such limitations on supply would push prices to multi-year highs and keep them there for two years or more, several hedge funds said.

The view is a reversal for hedge funds, which shorted the oil sector in the lead-up to global shutdowns, landing energy focused hedge funds gains of 26.8% in 2020, according to data from eVestment. By virtue of their fast-moving strategies, hedge funds are quick to spot new trends.

What are next steps for a third stimulus check?

Pelosi has said that she wants to pass a new stimulus bill including direct checks within two weeks; Biden can sign it as soon as it hits his desk.

Joe Biden: 'Erratic' Donald Trump should not get access to intelligence briefings

President Joe Biden said Donald Trump should not be given access to classified intelligence briefings due to his "erratic behaviour".

Outgoing presidents are traditionally given access to briefings, but that is solely the decision of the current president.

Mr Biden told CBS News that while he didn't want to "speculate out loud", he had concerns over Mr Trump being briefed.

He said: "I just think that there is no need for him to have the intelligence briefings. What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?"

Mr Trump is due to face his second impeachment trial next week, following the violence at the US Capitol which saw five people die.

Sanders opposes cutting the income cap for $1,400 stimulus checks

Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday that he opposes cutting the income threshold for receiving $1,400 direct payments in the next coronavirus relief bill, underscoring a split Democrats will need to resolve before they can pass the $1.9 trillion package.

The caucus’ most conservative member in Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., has raised concerns that stimulus checks as currently targeted would go to too many high-income people who did not lose their jobs during the pandemic. President Joe Biden has said he is open to negotiating eligibility for payments, which as proposed would go in full to individuals making up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000.

Super Bowl seats gifted to vaccinated healthcare workers

About 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers are getting a big "thank you" for their tireless work – tickets to the Super Bowl.

What is Adjusted Gross Income?

The main factor deciding entitlement to stimulus checks is Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), but what actually is it?

Full details:

Biden won't sacrifice "urgent response" for "a couple of Republican votes" - NY Times' Davis

Julie Davis, the congressional editor of the New York Times, says she expects Joe Biden to prioritize an "urgent" need for significant stimulus spending over his desire to be a president who embraces bipartisanship.

Although the White House is reportedly not giving up on getting Republican support as Biden seeks to push through his coronavirus relief plan, Democratic congressionals have laid the ground to pass the president’s $1.9tn American Rescue package without GOP votes, by using a process called ‘budget reconciliation’.

And Davis says Biden’s past experiences mean he won’t be ready to show limitless patience in stimulus negotiations with Republicans eager to lower his proposed relief spend.

He’s not going to sacrifice what he thinks is an urgent response just to get a couple of Republican votes,” Davis told CNN’s Inside Politics on Sunday.

He’s been through this experience before and they’ve been pretty disappointed when they’ve waited and waited, oftentimes fruitlessly, to get Republican buy-in for some of these big, bold ideas that they think are needed.”

Will there be a fourth stimulus check after the third one?

With the budget resolution now passed in the House and the Senate, a third stimulus check is edging closer. What’s the outlook for a fourth?

Full story:

Democratic lawmakers urge Biden not to lower eligibility threshold

A group of over 50 House Democrats has sent Joe Biden a letter imploring the president to keep the income eligibility threshold of $75,000 a year ($150,000 for couples) in a third round of stimulus checks, amid talk of the earnings cap being lowered.

Together with Republicans, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who is viewed as the party's most moderate lawmaker in the upper house, is leading an effort to reduce the cost of another round of stimulus checks by restricting the scheme to only the lowest-earning Americans, and Biden has said he is “open” to negotiation on the issue.

We write to you in strong support of maintaining the higher income thresholds for the next round of Economic Impact Payments so that people in areas with high costs of living, such as our districts, can get the support they need during this crisis,” the House legislators’ letter to Biden reads.

Lower income thresholds “would leave behind struggling individuals and families in regions where the costs are very high”, it adds.

Sanders, AOC pan Dem lawmakers open to reducing stimulus check eligibility

Senator Bernie Sanders on Saturday criticised Democratic legislators willing to lower the eligibility income threshold for a third round of stimulus checks, describing their stance as “unbelievable”.

There are some Dems who want to lower the income eligibility for direct payments from $75,000 to $50,000 for individuals, and $150,000 to $100,000 for couples,” Sanders - an independent who caucuses with the Democrats - tweeted. 

“In other words, working class people who got checks from Trump would not get them from Biden. Brilliant!”

Sanders was joined by Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said narrowing eligibility for a third check would be “outrageous” and called for the first coronavirus relief since President Joe Biden took office to be “big, bold and strong”.

It would be outrageous if we ran on giving more relief and ended up doing the opposite,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in response to Sanders’ tweet.

“It’s sad that this is even an argument in the Dem party. COVID relief is disaster relief, & it’s urgent. Our first act out of the gate should be big, bold, and strong. Not weaker & smaller.”

Democrats set to write $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief legislation

The stage is set for Democrats to advance a budget framework including the American Rescue Plan promoted by the White House with or without Republicans. Lawmakers in Congress will begin drafting the covid-19 aid package next week seeking to pass it within the next two weeks.

Full story:

Who voted to pass budget resolution through Senate?

On Friday, the Senate approved a budget resolution which paves the way for President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package to be passed.

Here's a look at how that vote unfolded:

Biden sticks by $1,400 amount for third stimulus check

President Joe Biden would like to get bipartisan support for his relief plan, but he is sticking with his stated $1,400 amount for a third round of stimulus checks, despite Republican efforts to lower the maximum figure paid out as part of the scheme.

Full details:

Stimulus check live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live blog bringing you the latest updates on the progress of President Joe Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief proposal, which includes a stimulus check of up to $1,400 for qualifying Americans.

Here's our latest report on where efforts to push through renewed stimulus are at: