Third stimulus check: summary and news on 17 February 2021

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Third stimulus check updates today: who qualifies, IRS status, possible dates, Maryland | Live

Headlines:

- Democrats continue drafting details of stimulus relief bill while Senate is in recess. (full story)

- Gov. Newsom announces new round of stimulus checks for California residents (full story)

- IRS says all first and second stimulus checks now sent

-The House Ways and Means Committee have approved both child tax credit and third stimulus check (full story)

- Maryland RELIEF Act signed into law Monday including stimulus checks for low-income residents (who's eligible?)

- Progressive group continues to push for $2,000 recurring stimulus checks

 President Biden urges Congress to "pass the American Rescue Plan and deliver much-needed relief"

- IRS issues guidelines on claiming stimulus check as we enter tax season (how to claim)

- Child tax credit and stimulus check boost could halve child poverty in the US

- Latest stimulus check news in Spanish (las noticias sobre los cheques de estímulo en español a través de este enlace)

- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 27.8 million / 489,933 (live updates)

California to pass a new round of stimulus checks

A new stimulus package looks set to provide a round of $600 direct payments for low earners in the state of California. The state-wide proposal was announced on Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who pledged to provide economic relief to those most in need. 

The stimulus checks are designed to act as a stop-gap while Congress in Washington pushes forward with President Biden's American Relief Plan. The $600 payments are expected to be sent to around 5.7 million residents but the timescale for distribution varies depending on which group you are in. 

Full details:

California stimulus bill offers hope for small businesses

A new $9.6 billion relief bill has been agreed by Californian lawmakers as the state looks to provide financial relief to those hit hardest by the pandemic. Included in the proposal is a round of $600 stimulus checks for those who earn less than $30,000, but there is also significant support offered to small businesses. 

Tax breaks worth up to $2 billion will help small businesses survive while it is hoped that a two-year freeze on licenses for bars and restuarants will reduce the burden on the struggling hospitality industry. There is also greater funding for a grant-giving programme which has been hugely oversubscribed since first introduced last December. 

Californian lawmakers agree stimulus check package

Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that lawmakers in California have agreed a new covid-19 relief bill that would see low income residents receive stimulus checks worth up to $600. The proposal is a new version of the Golden State Stimulus plan tabled by Newsom last month. 

Those earning less than $30,000 will be eligible for the payment but some other groups who missed out on federal stimulus checks in the past will also be able to receive the direct payments. 

Read more: 

Hopes for minimum wage increase on new stimulus bill

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan proposed by President Biden is aimed at helping low-earners through the pandemic and includes legislation that would see the federal minimum wage more than double over the next five years. Ohio State Senator Nine Turner believes the proposal is key to ensuring that "no worker lives in poverty", and has been championed by progressive in Congress. 

This is seen as a long-term solution to the rising economic disparity in the US, but Biden has also pledged a round of $1,400 stimulus checks to provide much-needed assistance in the short-term. Sitmulus checks have been a particularly contentious issue since the package was first proposed but appears to be edging closer after the House Ways and Means Committee approved $940 billion of federal spending, which will cover both the stimulus checks and boosted child tax credits system. 

How many stimulus checks did the IRS send out?

Through the pandemic the covid-stricken has needed significant economic support from the federal government and trillions of dollars has been spent to mitigate for the negative effects. Included in that effort has been the stimulus checks sent to eligibile Americans providing financial relief in the short-term. 

In total over $400 billion has already been paid out in the form of stimulus checks, with a third round worth $1,400 per check also on the way. But not everyone is eligble for the direct payments, so how many stimulus checks have actually been distributed?

Read more:

California lawmakers agree $9.5bn stimulus bill

A new covid-19 relief bill announced by California Governor Gavin Newsom will provide $9.5 billion of state funding to help those worst-hit by the pandemic. The package includes fee waivers for 59,000 restaurants and bars, $24 million to house farm workers forced to quarantine, and $35 million for food banks and diapers. 

Also included in the deal is a round of stimulus checks worth $600 for low income earners. The direct payment is designed to provide immediate relief while talks continue in Washington over the fate of Biden's American Rescue Plan. 

People are hungry and hurting, and businesses our communities have loved for decades are at risk of closing their doors,” Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins said in a statement. “We are at a critical moment, and I’m proud we were able to come together to get Californians some needed relief.”

Low-income Californians in line for $600 stimulus check

A new covid-19 relief bill agreed by lawmakers in California will see low-income residents given an emergency stimulus check worth $600. The additional support comes as Congress struggles to find bipartisan support for a new stimulus package, with Biden's American Relief Plan still undergoing talks. 

Aside from the stimulus check payments, there is also funding to support businesses in California and to improve the state-wide vaccination programme. 

"We're helping to ensure that we not only talk about equity, but more so that we deliver a solid plan and act on that plan to make sure that the vaccine is equitably administered to the people of color, and that our communities have a chance to survive and prosper," said Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez.

Maryland to provide stimulus checks worth up to $500 for residents

On Monday Maryland became the latest state to pass covid-19 relief legislation to help residents dealing with the economic consequences of the pandemic. The aptly-named RELIEF Act comprises of around $1.2 billion of state funding and provides checks worth $300 for individuals and $500 for families. 

After announcing the support, Gov. Larry Hogan said: "As Washington remains divided and gridlocked, Maryland has once again shown the nation that both parties can still come together, that we can put the people’s priorities first, and that we can deliver real, bipartisan, common sense solutions to the serious problems that face us."

Read more for full details on eligibility and how to get the direct payments:

Pelosi: Overwhelming support for stimulus checks

Democrats in Congress continue to push through Biden's American Rescue Plan but have been frustrated by the lack of support from Republican lawmakers for the $1.9 trillion proposal. Stimulus checks have been a particualrly contentious part of the package and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi points out the good that direct payments can do to the economy, as well as the individual. 

Pelosi tweeted earlier today: "The $1,400 direct relief payments included in the American Rescue Plan will help families, small businesses and local economies, and it is supported by a bipartisan majority (75%) of the country.

She added: "It’s time for Republicans to listen to reason and get out of the way."

 

California Governor confirms $600 stimulus checks

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California has announced details of a state-wide covid-19 financial relief bill that offers billions of support for both individual Americans and business. The headline inclusion is another round of stimulus checks, this time worth $600, which will be available for over five million people. 

The announcement comes just days after the Governor of Maryland passed the RELIEF Act, a $1.2 billion package which provides stimulus checks for low income residents in his own state. As the federal government struggles to pass President Biden's American Rescue Plan, states have felt they need to pass their own legislation to provide short-term relief for vulnerable residents. 

Stimulus may be needed for post-covid-19 footprint 

The debate over spending $1.9 trillion on covid-19 relief oscillates between the idea that it could boost demand too much or will inflation will be offset by growth. But Peter Orszag writes that neither side has paid much attention to the ways in which the pandemic stands to cause significant and lasting shifts in the economy. This should be the measure of how to evaluate the government relief legislation. 

Shifting in the job market and revenues going from one company to another will outlast the pandemic accelerating some trends that were already seen prior to the pandemic. 

Cities have been seeing an exodus of residents who are now able to work from home causing a knock-on effect of lower demand for the services of those whose job requires them to show up in person. Businesses that offer the ability for people to stay in the safety of their homes during the pandemic have seen huge growth in their sales while the main street businesses are struggling under restrictions.

Do stimulus checks and unemployment benefits count as an income?

Tax filers have a lot to contend with this year regarding the various programs put into place due to the pandemic and how they will affect their tax return. 

Read the full story:

"Raising the minimum wage is not just about economic justice – it is about racial justice. Nearly half of Black and Latino workers in America make under $15 an hour. We must end starvation wages, and give 32 million Americans a raise by increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour."

Bernie Sanders, Senator for Vermont (I)

State treasurers urge Congress to approve stimulus package 

Every elected Democratic state treasurer is calling on Congress to approve the American Rescue Plan. The 17 treasurers signed on to a letter organized by Invest in America Action calling for the necessity of the full relief bill, including the provision with $350 billion in state and local aid. 

The letter from the treasurers notes how shortfalls have impacted states' vaccinations efforts, say they lack the resources it will take to get the shots in people's arms needed to control the pandemic. The letter also cited the loss of 1.4 million state and local government jobs.

Trump flays McConnell over stimulus checks 

After voting to acquit former President Trump for a second time in an impeachment trail, Mitch McConnell spoke out against the former president’s involvement in instigating the 6 January riot and that he needs to be held to account. Trump didn’t take the affront lying down. Although the former president has been quite due to his social media ban he sent a written statement.  

In the communication he attacked the Senate Minority Leader McConnell’s leadership blaming him for the loss of control in the Senate. In large part to failing to offer larger stimulus checks in last negotiations over covid-19 relief. The final bill went out with $600 stimulus checks instead of the $2000 amount pushed by Democrats.

Stimulus package at risk in Senate if $15 minimum wage hike is included 

With the House expected to pass Biden's massive $1.9 trillion rescue package next week, it will be up to the Senate to approve it before Biden can sign it into law. With the Senate split 50-50 between the two parties, ever vote will count if the Democrats want to push it through using budgetary reconciliation. Using reconciliation Democrats only need a simple 51-vote majority, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote. 

Senator Joe Manchin has informed President Biden that he won't join any Democratic efforts to force through provisions in the economic rescue package if they are ruled in violation of the Byrd rule. He isn’t the only one opposed to the minimum wage hike, Senator Kyrsten Sinema has expressed her opposition too.  

The Byrd rule prohibits including "extraneous" or unrelated measures as part of the budget process that Democrats are employing to pass the covid-19 relief package with hopes to get it to Biden’s desk early March.

What’s in the Maryland RELIEF Act 2021? 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bipartisan stimulus bill on Monday worth $1.2 billion. Find out if you can get both federal and local checks. 

Read the full details:

Will GOP opposition to $1400 stimulus checks cost them? 

In a memo to White House senior staff, Mike Donilon, senior adviser to President Biden, argues that GOP opposition to the coronavirus relief package could further decrease national support for the party. Nearly 7 in 10 Americans support Biden's American Rescue Plan according to recent polling with over 60% of registered voters approving of Biden. Meanwhile the memo points to lowering support for the GOP which has lost tens of thousands of members since the capitol riots to other party affiliation.

Americans used $600 stimulus checks to go on shopping spree

US Commerce Department released retail and food services sales for January on Wednesday showing they were much stronger than expected, the biggest increase since June. After three months of declines, retail sales soared a seasonally adjusted 5.3% in January from the month before. Wall Street analysts had expected a little over a 1% rise. 

The rise came on the back of Americans receiving the second round of stimulus checks for $600 allowing them to make purchases of domestic goods and services they had been holding off on doing. This will put wind in the sails of the Biden administration and Democrats as they push for a third round of stimulus, this time in the form of $1400 direct payments.

Maryland set to send out stimulus checks

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bipartisan stimulus bill on Monday worth $1.2 billion. Find out if you can get both federal and local checks. 

Read the full story:

Child tax credit of $3,600 vs. dependent stimulus at $1,400

Democrats’ new stimulus bill proposal includes several proposals to help families with children, but what’s the difference between the provisions?

Will a large stimulus package overheat the economy?

Will a large stimulus package overheat the economy?

The Guardian's Larry Elliott summarises the debate on whether a $1.9tn coronavirus relief package and with it more stimulus checks, will boost the economy, or ultimately cause overheat and thus inflation in the US economy. 

"The way the markets look at it, successful covid vaccines plus low interest rates plus higher US government spending equals rapid growth and higher corporate profits.

"Larry Summers says [large stimulus] may equal higher inflation. He has two main quibbles with Biden’s $1.8tn (£1.3tn) plan: it will lead to overheating that will prompt higher interest rates and the possibility of recession; and there is too much focus on measures to boost consumer spending rather than investment."

Elliott says that Paul Krugman, on the other hand "reckons the US is effectively at war with the pandemic, and the question is not whether the stimulus plan will lead to higher inflation but whether it will help win the war. He doesn’t believe that the White House plan will be inflationary but says even if it is the Federal Reserve can respond with higher interest rates without causing a recession."

As we await with baited breath more stimulus check news...some GOOD covid-19 vaccine news

Joe Biden laid out further plans for tackling the coronavirus pandemic yesterday, including a promise to make 600m doses of vaccines available by the end of July, enough to vaccinate every American, according to the president. Biden also said that teachers should be “moved up the hierarchy” of the vaccine rollout, as he predicted that the majority of elementary schools would reopen within his first 100 days in office.

Via The Guardian

CNBC: Stimulus checks helped consumer spending in January

After falling for two straight months in November and December, it looks likely that consumer spending in January will have risen

The US Census Bureau will release data on Wednesday expected to show Retail sales increased 1.2% last month. This rise was aided in part by federal stimulus checks. Economists expect the trend to continue, as the number of new covid cases decline and more businesses resume normal operations.

Fox's Kudlow advocates for lower taxes not stimulus

Larry Kudlow, the ex-director of former President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council, made his debut on Fox Business Network on Tuesday. He interviewed former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who suggested he would like to see further relief bills passed. 

Mnuchin said that traditional ways of thinking about spending and the economy are irrelevant since the ongoing recession isn’t economically driven. However, he cautioned against using reconciliation as a general spending tool. Democrats in Congress are using reconciliation to push the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill through Congress to avoid a possible GOP filibuster so they can pass the package with a simple 51-vote majority.  

Kudlow apparently has his own opinion, suggesting that tax cuts would be a better option than providing spending bills such as the one Congress is working on including the $1400 stimulus checks. Earlier in the month he was critical of another round of stimulus checks, saying they would be spent on stocks. However back in July when the Trump administration proposed including $1200 stimulus checks in a second round of stimulus it was part of a “well rounded package”. 

How you can make sure you get the most out of third stimulus check and fast...

...once it's approved in Congress. Democrats are working on the details of a massive stimulus bill with a third stimulus check. What can you do to get paid the maximum possible amount and quickly?

Biden defends raising minimum wage to $15 per hour

Speaking at a townhall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin President Biden defended why the minimum wage should be raised to $15 per hour. If the current $7.25 minimum wage had been tied to the index people would be making $20 an hour now

The proposal is one of many in the sweeping $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill being pushed through Congress right now, with the House expected to pass their version some time next week. The bill also includes $1400 stimulus checks, new tax provisions and extending pandemic unemployment benefits.

House to vote on covid-19 and stimulus checks next week

The House of Representatives has been plowing its coronavirus legislation through committees with the intention to get the passed by the end of the month. Now it seems that will happen according to chief congressional correspondent for CNN Manu Raju per a source who was privy to a call with Maryland Representative Steny Hoyer. The $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill will come up for a vote next week, with the House changing their schedule to meet four days next week starting Tuesday

The sweeping legislation contains measures to reopen schools, aid small businesses, fund vaccine distribution, and help the finances of state and local governments. As well, the bill includes $1400 stimulus checks to aid families struggling due to the economic downturn and extending unemployment benefits programs due to expire mid-March.

$1400 stimulus checks and tax credits to reduce taxpayers’ bill

President Joe Biden is traveling the country this week to drum up public support for his $1.9 trillion relief plan, which closely aligns with legislation moving forward in Congress. He has begun his national tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

According the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center the covid-19 relief bill House Democrats have proposed so far would reduce household federal tax bills by an average of $3,100 this year, as per CNN.  

The tax savings for individuals would come from four major provisions in the legislation advanced last week: 

- The $1,400 stimulus payments. 

- An expanded child tax credit. 

- An expanded income tax credit. 

- And a boost to the tax credit for those paying for child care.

US stimulus check: live updates

Hi there, welcome to Diario AS English daily live blog, with all the latest news as it happens on stimulus checks in the US.

 We've got updates on a third stimulus check of $1,400 under Biden's American Rescue Plan, the Maryland stimulus check delivery and child tax credits.

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