Third stimulus check: summary and news on 09 February 2021

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US stimulus relief bill - live updates 9 February

Headlines

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

- House Democrats unveil legislation on $3,000/$3,600 child tax credit legislation on Monday (full story)

- Senate adopts budget resolution that will allow the $1.9tn stimulus bill to be passed

- Senate votes 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 GOP lawmakers last month proposed $600bn covid relief bill with $1,000 stimulus checks

US covid-19 cases/deaths: 27.11 million / 465,648 (live updates)

Employment hasn't rebounded for poorer workers

People who make less than $30,000 have lost their jobs at higher rates during the pandemic, and struggle to find new ones, a new analysis shows — even as higher earners have seen their job prospects recover.

Employment for lower-wage workers remains 14% below pre-pandemic levels and is trending downward, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York analysis, as President Joe Biden and others warn of a so-called "K shaped" recovery where a portion of the American workforce gets left behind even as others see a rebound. Employment for high-wage workers is now slightly above its level from when the pandemic first hit nearly a year ago.

"The American people are hurting," Biden said in an Oval Office meeting Tuesday with business leaders to discuss his American Rescue Plan. "A lot of people are in real, real trouble." He argued they need to move quickly on both getting the virus under control but also to address the economy. 

How to claim your stimulus check on 2020 tax return

Didn’t get your second stimulus check? Never fear, you can claim your missing payment as part of your 2020 tax return through Recovery Rebate Credit.

Explained: Trump’s impeachment trial at the Senate

Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial in just over a year began Tuesday in the Senate. Here’s how the trial will work, who is involved and timeline.

Read the full story:

Stimulus eligibility will not be narrowed as per GOP plans

House Democrats have rejected a Republican proposal to significantly narrow eligibility for further stimulus payments and are moving forward with legislation that would provide $1,400 stimulus payments per person.

But the payments would phase out faster than earlier rounds and completely cut off individuals earning more than $100,000 and couples earning more than $200,000, according to the bill text, which the House Ways and Means Committee is set to debate Wednesday.

Under the plan put forward Monday by Chairman Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, the full payment would go to individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and married couples earning less than $150,000 -- like previous stimulus checks. Joint filers would receive $2,800 plus another $1,400 per dependent.

It would not narrow eligibility as significantly as a Republican-backed proposal, which would have excluded an estimated 29 million households that received earlier payments.

Trump furious with attorney Castor's opening argument

Former President Trump was unhappy with Bruce Castor's opening argument on the Senate floor this afternoon, according to two people familiar with his reaction.

Trump was almost screaming as Castor made meandering arguments that struggled to get at the heart of his defence team's argument, which is supposed to be over the constitutionality of holding a trial for a president no longer in office.

Given the legal team was assembled a little over a week ago, it went as expected, one of the sources told CNN. Trump's allies were flabbergasted when Trump's attorneys switched speaking slots at the last minute.

As states loosen covid-19 restrictions, White House experts warn of dangers

The Biden administration's coronavirus task force said it does not agree with states that have begun to loosen restrictions as cases begin to drop from the all-time peak endured over the last month, warning during a White House briefing with reporters on Monday that the increased risk of variants spreading across the country are reason to keep those restrictions up, not weaken them.

States like New York and Massachusetts have recently backed off some stricter restrictions imposed during the winter months, like banning all indoor dining. And in a more extreme case, Iowa's governor repealed the mask mandate across the state.

But it's important to note that the U.S. has been here before, experts said, most notably over the summer when states pulled back their restrictions, reopening after lockdowns and bringing on another spike. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt were clear in Monday's briefing that they were encouraging states not to go that route again.

CVS, Walgreens, other pharmacies to begin delivering covid-19 vaccines within days

Within days, you might be able to get a vaccine from your local pharmacy, say USA Today.

After weeks of vaccine distribution being largely limited to hospitals, health systems and local health departments, covid-19 vaccines are poised to roll out at major pharmacies throughout the country, including the nation's two largest chains, CVS and Walgreens.

While state-determined eligibility and availability will remain limited for the time being, experts say they're hopeful that the nation's established network of pharmacies will help speed up distribution amid consternation over the pace of the rollout so far.

This is about abusing the impeachment power for political gain

David Schoen, Donald Trump's defence lawyer

WATCH: Trump's defence lawyer speaks at impeachment

Donald Trump's trial for impeachment started today. Watch opening remarks by his defence lawyer Bruce Castor and David Schoen.

$3,000 third stimulus check per child: is there a maximum number of children to request it?

House Democrats have unveiled a new bill as part of the coronavirus relief bill expanding the child tax credit for one year including monthly payments.

Full story:

Biden supports Dem plans to keep same income thresholds for stimulus checks

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says President Joe Biden supports plans unveiled by House Democrats yesterday to set the income eligibility limit for the full third stimulus check at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples. These are the caps that were applied to the first two stimulus checks.

Amid Republican-led attempts to reduce the cost of another round of direct payments by making them available to a smaller portion of the US population, Biden has previously suggested the income thresholds could be lowered, telling reporters recently he was "open" to negotiating the earnings limits on a third check.

Biden to discuss relief package with business leaders

US President Joe Biden will meet with the chief executives of JPMorgan Chase, Walmart, Gap Inc, and Lowe's Companies on Tuesday as part of his efforts to boost an economy still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden and the executives, who will be joined by Vice-President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for the 1:45 p.m. EST gathering in the Oval Office, will discuss his $1.9tn coronavirus recovery package, known as the American Rescue Plan, the White House said.

JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon, Walmart's Doug McMillon, Gap's Sonia Syngal, and Lowe's Companies' Marvin Ellison were all slated to attend along with Tom Donohue, the head of the US Chamber of Commerce, a top business lobby.

Biden is eager to keep attention on his relief package even as Washington focuses on the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, who is accused of inciting the 6 January riot at the US Capitol. The meeting serves as a bit of counter-progamming at the White House while the trial kicks off in the US Senate.

Despite Biden's desire to focus on unity, his stimulus package faces opposition from Republicans, who view it as too large. Biden’s fellow Democrats in Congress, who have a small majority in the House and effective control of the Senate, have approved a budget outline that will allow them to muscle the stimulus through in the coming weeks without GOP support.

Data on Friday showed US employment growth rebounded only moderately in January and job losses in the prior month were deeper than initially thought, strengthening the case for a sizable relief package from the government to aid the recovery from the covid-19 pandemic.

(Reuters)

House Democrats' proposal in color

The House Ways and Means Committee headed by Richard Neal released their proposal for part of the Democratic covid-19 relief package based on the framework of President Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. 

Included were proposals for the $1400 direct payments, tax provisions and the increased and expanded child tax credit. Democrats decided to keep the eligibility levels for the third round of stimulus payments. Individuals earning $75K and couples earning $150K would still see the full $1400 per each adult.

Age limit for children raised for $3,000 third stimulus check 

A new proposal set out by House Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee on Monday would expand eligibility to older children to receive benefit. 

Full details:

Wall St eases from record levels at open; stimulus in focus

Wall Street's main indexes opened lower on Tuesday, slipping from record highs following several disappointing quarterly earnings reports, while investors closely tracked progress in passing a proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25.9 points, or 0.08%, at the open to 31359.88. The S&P 500 fell 5.1 points, or 0.13%, at the open to 3910.49​, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 20.8 points, or 0.15%, to 13966.815 at the opening bell.

Democrats finalize bill for third round of stimulus checks

House Democrats have released their bill text for the latest round of stimulus checks, with key points being $1,400 payments and the eligibility of individuals earning up to $75,000 and married couples earning up to $150,000. 

 

House Democrats have unveiled a new bill as part of the coronavirus relief bill expanding the child tax credit for one year including monthly payments.

A year on lawmakers still fighting for $2,000 recurring stimulus checks

As Congress debates President Joe Biden's request for $1.9 trillion in coronavirus relief funding — including a third stimulus check of up to at $1,400 — some Democratic lawmakers are pushing for an even bigger response: $2,000 monthly payments until the pandemic is history. 

Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, and more than 50 other House members are urging the Biden administration to back such a policy, according to a signed letter sent to Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Signers of the January 28 letter also include other leading House progressives such as Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

"One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis," they wrote. "Many families cannot afford to wait for eight months between payments. To truly build back better, families need stability and certainty through ongoing relief — they cannot be at the mercy of congressional gridlock."

When will the $3000/$3600 child tax credit arrive?

A proposal by House Democrats to expand and increase the Child Tax Credit, if passed, could see American families receiving at least $250 per child in July.

More information here:

Goldman Sachs hikes US GDP estimate; sees relief bill at $1.5 trillion

Economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc have  bumped their US GDP forecast for the second quarter to 11% from 10% and said that additional fiscal measures are likely to be valued at $1.5 trillion, up from their previous $1.1 trillion estimate.

On an annual basis, they raised their forecasts for 2021 and 2022 growth by 0.2 percentage points each, to 6.8% and 4.5%, respectively.

When to file your tax return if you have received a stimulus check?

If you saw your income adversely affected in 2020 by the pandemic you may want to file your tax return early to be sure to get a stimulus payment sooner.

Read more: 

Democrats call for $1,400 stimulus checks with no changes to income limits

House Democrats released a stimulus plan to maintain the income limit for stimulus checks at $75,000 for individual taxpayers and $150,000 for couples, dismissing an attempt from some Senate Democrats to limit who can receive a direct payment. The proposal would distribute payments to individual taxpayers making $75,000 and under, along with couples earning $150,000 or less — the same parameters in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package.

Raising minimum wage could cost 1.4 million jobs

A new government report looks at the possible effects of the Raise the Wage Act which proposes to raise the federal minimum wage, in annual increments, to $15 per hour by June 2025 and then adjust it to increase at the same rate as median hourly wages. 

If enacted at the end of March 2021, the report outlines that raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour would raise income for millions of Americans and lift 900,000 people out of poverty. However, by 2025, when the hourly rate would hit $15, around 1.4 million people, or 0.9% of the workforce would have lost their jobs as companies would lay off workers to reduce costs.

US stimulus check: live updates

Welcome to our daily live blog bringing you updates on the progress being made in attempts to pass President Joe Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief package, which includes provision for a stimulus check of up to $1,400.

Here's our latest report on the situation regarding a third direct payment:

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