Third stimulus check news summary: 02 March 2021

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Third stimulus check updates today: when will Senate vote on it? | Will it arrive in March & IRS tax return | Live

Stimulus bill live updates - Tuesday 2 March 2021

Headlines:

- $1.9tn relief bill passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday

- Stimulus check of up to $1,400 included in the Democrat-backed aid package (when could Americans get their direct payment?)

- Senate to take up bill "this week", says Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

- Democrats want to get the final bill signed into law by 14 March

- Progressive Dems call for minimum-wage hike not to be stripped from bill in the Senate

- Group of senators urges Biden to include recurring stimulus checks in next package

- Get the latest stimulus check news in Spanish - las noticias sobre los cheques de estímulo en español

US covid-19 cases/deaths: 28.66 million/514,660 (live updates)

Have a read of some of the latest related news stories:

Schumer: 'Help is on the way"

Chuck Schumer, New York’s Senator and the Senate Majority Leader took to his Twitter account to assure Americans that the American Rescue Plan bill would triumph.

Chuck

Schumer looking to pass the bill "this week"

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed confidence that President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill will pass in the Senate this week.  "We will have the votes he stated".
 

Senate could debate bill on Wednesday

The projected timeline for the third bill is for it to be debated in the Senate as of Wednesday with a hope that it will be passed as of Friday.

Pelosi's office says 2 controversial projects will be pulled from covid stimulus bill

Pelosi's office says 2 controversial projects will be pulled from covid stimulus bill

Two big projects originally slated to be part of the covid-19 relief bill but criticised as being unrelated to coronavirus relief will be pulled from the package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

The original bill, passed by the House, included more than $1.4 billion in funding to help with transit rail capital projects, including the extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit line from San Jose to Santa Clara, California. 

It had been part of $30 billion in support for public transportation in the relief package, but Pelosi's office said Tuesday that the Senate parliamentarian had ruled against its inclusion because it was part of a pilot project.

The relief package will also no longer include funding for the Seaway International Bridge in upstate New York. The $1.5 million in funding had been proposed during the Trump administration and supported by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, whose district includes the bridge.


Republicans have held up both projects as examples of spending in the bill that would benefit the Democratic leaders' districts and home states and have very little to do with helping Americans recover from the pandemic. Stefanik did not support the relief bill and said the funding for the bridge should not have been included.

The BART extension is not in Pelosi's California district and would have occurred 50 miles south of the area she represents.

Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill said Tuesday that cover had "an immediate and overwhelming effect on all of our transportation systems and the millions of transportation and construction jobs associated with them," but now with the two projects removed, he added, "it is unclear how Republicans will justify their opposition" to the legislation.

From CNN's Ryan Nobles and Lauren Fox

Find out why there was a proposal for a $10,000 stimulus check

A Republican went big in mocking the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, and even filed an extreme amendment to the bill in the House to make his point.

Read the full story:

Susan Collins: Democrats should seek bipartisan approval on stimulus package

Moderate Republican Susan Collins has today criticised the Democrats for going it alone to pass the covid-19 relief bill without GOP support. 

"I don't understand how the WH can describe a bill that passed the House without a single Republican vote as being bipartisan. What was bipartisan was the opposition."

Collins says it's "up to Chuck Schumer and the White House whether they are interested in trying to gain some Republican support" for covid relief.

Calls are being made for a separate, $10 minimum wage bill.

How to keep the minimum wage increase in the $1.9tn stimulus package

The wage hike according to progressive ex- Sanders campaign strategist Winnie Wong, Democrats have 2 options: 

-  VP Kamala Harris overrules the parliamentarian recommendation - which ruled it inappropriate for the wage hike to be included in this bill on a technicality.

- Senate Dems eliminate the filibuster.

Wong posits that failing to do one or the other means the $15 minimum wage increase dies, and that this would have serious consequences for the Democrats popularity in the 2022 mid-terms.

Third stimulus check calculator: how much could you receive?

As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on President Biden's American Rescue Plan, we take a look at how much the new direct payment is worth.

Read the full story:

Progressives warn Dems will lose in 2022 if $15 min. wage dies in Senate stimulus vote

After House Democrats approved a far-reaching covid-19 relief package early Saturday with all but two members of the caucus on board, progressive anger and despair escalated over the Biden administration's refusal thus far to make sure the $15 minimum wage increase remains in the bill as it heads to the Senate.

As journalist David Sirota, founder of the Daily Poster and former staffer for the 2020 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, put it on Saturday: "If you were writing a Dickensian novel, it would be about millions of desperately poor people being promised a $15 starvation wage, and then watching their millionaire senators tell them that a parliamentary adviser in the palace said no."

While President Biden and his administration have made clear they will not move to use Vice President Kamala Harris' authority as presiding officer of the Senate to disregard or overrule the parliamentarian's determination, anger on the progressive left — both inside and outside Congress — has only grown since Thursday.

Winnie Wong, political strategist and another Sanders campaign alumnus, said the choices for Biden and Harris are now stark and suggested the stakes are much higher than many top Democrats appear to understand or acknowledge.

How are Senate negotiations going for third stimulus checks?

The Senate could be voting on the legislation based on Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill. The bill is going to have to evolve into a different sort of beast to appease the relevant crucial swing-votes in the upper chamber.

To that end, Democrats have been having meetings behind closed doors since Monday to figure out the best way to remove some of those key road blocks.

Read the full story:

How far are progressives willing to go to get minimum wage passed in this stimulus bill?

CNN has the scoop. House progressives are strongly pushing to pass a $15 minimum wage now as they believe this moment is their best shot, and some are already signalling they are willing to withhold their votes if the final version of the covid relief package does not include the provision.

As the window for negotiations closes, and it seems increasingly unlikely that the White House will concede to progressives by overruling the parliamentarian's decision that the minimum wage increase should be kept out of the bill, the question becomes whether the smoke that progressives are blowing will turn into fully formed flames.

"We're leaving it open," said Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington state, when asked by CNN whether progressives are prepared to withhold their votes on the covid package if the legislation returns to the House next week from the Senate without the minimum wage proposal included.

"We're going to see what the whole package looks like and then we'll make a decision."

Schumer in the spotlight this week in first big test with stimulus bill 

With the Senate due to vote on a stimulus bill proposed by House Democrats, which in case you missed it is due to feature a third round of stimulus checks of up to $1,400 each, and it will be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's chance to, well... lead.

Negotiations in full swing on stimulus bill and jobless benefits

As Manu Raju of CNN reports, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer doesn’t rule out changes, amendments or reducing jobless benefits to $300 per week as some Democrats (Joe Manchin) are pushing. 

"We want to get the biggest, strongest, boldest bill that can pass. And that’s what we’re working to do.” Schumer said.

Pelosi says minimum wage fight not over: "We will have other reconciliations"

Pelosi says minimum wage fight not over, won't be in stimulus bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the battle on minimum wage, which will not be part of the covid-19 relief bill that is making its way through the Senate, is not over. 

“Just because this may not survive the Senate right now doesn’t mean the fight is anywhere near over,” she said as Democratic leadership kicked off this year’s Caucus Issue Conference. She called the $15 minimum wage “wildly popular” and the current rate of $7.25 per hour “pathetic.”

When asked by CNN’s Ryan Nobles how Democrats will get a minimum wage bill to pass and whether they’d lost their best opportunity to get it done in the relief bill.

“We will have other reconciliations,” Pelosi said, referring to the process by which a spending bill can clear both chambers by a simple majority.

Via CNN

We talked about the package and we talked about some ... targeting, targeting dollars

Jon Tester , (D-Mont.)

US C of C warns against stimulus bill overspend

The US Chamber of Commerce is changing its tune on President Biden’s stimulus package, warning the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is not targeted enough given the strength of the US economic recovery.

“We need Congress to get the policy right with highly targeted aid for those most in need. As currently drafted, the American Rescue Plan fails the test,” Neil Bradley, chief policy officer at the Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement Tuesday. 

Bradley warned that overspending on this relief package could leave less money for other priorities like infrastructure. To make his case, he pointed to how since Biden introduced the plan, economic reports have indicated that personal savings have grown substantially and most US states have not suffered a significant loss in tax revenue. 

Economists on Wall Street have also sharply raised their economic forecasts, with Goldman Sachs now calling for the US economy to grow in 2021 at the fastest pace since 1984.

“These facts are not a reason for inaction, but they are a reason to target aid where it is needed,” Bradley wrote. “The failure of Congress to heed the data and revise the American Rescue Plan means less money for other priorities, including infrastructure and education.”

Tax Return 2021: how long does it take to get a tax rebate? 

It's tax filing season and you have until 15 April 2021 to file. Here's advice on how to file for free online and when you can expect your tax rebate.

Also, did you know that you can claim your missing stimulus check payment in your tax rebate too?

Read on for full details:

Concerned that the key facets of the stimulus bill may get diluted in the Senate?

You can contact your senator to tell them what's important to you.

Indivisible says that  it’s up to the Senate to quickly pass this bill and send it to the President’s desk, without watering down these needed provisions.

Progressives in the House of Representatives managed to protect three key provisions in the bill:

- Sending robust stimulus checks without additional restrictions,

- Emergency aid to state and local governments, and

- Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

But these could be endangered as the bill is brought to the Senate.

Could a third stimulus check be sent in March?

RECAP: As Greg Heilman reported earlier today, the Senate prepares to debate President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan this week expected to pass by Friday.

"Democrats and their allies hope for quick passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 before 14 March. However deliberations over certain parts of the legislation could drag out the timeline, Democrats must keep all 50 votes in their caucus with no Republicans expected to approve the bill. After amendments are added, it is expected that the bill will come up for a final vote in the upper chamber sometime Friday morning."

Here's his take on when stimulus checks could be sent out:

Stimulus relief bill 'popular with public'

Reporting on Capitol Hill for the WSJ, Andy Duehren says that President Biden has spoken about the Democrats coming together as one on the proposed relief package.

He wants it pushed through as soon as possible, but as you know if you've been following this feed, there are still a number of obstacles to overcome from both parties.

It would be awful for the doors to open up and there’s no one working.

Joe Manchin, Senator, arguing the higher jobless benefit would discourage people from returning to work

Democrats must now decide 'how we do minimum wage as part of another piece of legislation or on its own'.

Richard Blumenthal, Senator of Connecticut

Stimulus bill Democratic wranglings

Jeff Stein, The Washington Post's White House economics reporter, provided an update on the changes that centrist Senate Democrats were looking for:

1. to reduce Unemployment Insurance from $400/week to $300/week

2. to further tighten stimulus check eligibility thresholds

3. to repurpose some of the $350 billion for infrastructure/broadband

According to Stein, the Biden administration is unlikely to go for either of the first two.

Enhanced Child Tax Credit: who and when?

The current Child Tax Credit is worth up to $2,000 per qualifying child under 17 and $500 per qualifying dependent. If the coronavirus relief package is approved in the Senate and signed into law, families could see a child tax credit of up to $3,600 per child under 6 and $3,000 per child under 18 for 2021.

The proposal also makes the enhanced child credit fully refundable instead of a maximum refund of $1,400, so families will receive the credit even if they paid less in taxes than the total of the credit.

Find out if you are eligible and, if so, when you'd be likely to receive payment, as Greg Heilman digs into the detail.

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Stimulus checks to 'get by'

The covid-19 pandemic has occurred amid heightened focused on economic and racial inequality in the US, reported Janet Alvarez for CNBC, and as the Biden administration seeks a large covid stimulus relief package, the everyday financial needs and stresses are greatest based on race, ethnicity and gender.

Half (50%) of African-Americans, and 40% of Hispanics, are counting on another round of government financial assistance just to “get by” versus only 22% of white respondents who feel that level of financial anxiety, according to a new CNBC + Acorns Invest in You survey conducted by SurveyMonkey. Thirty-one percent of Asian-Americans said they were counting on stimulus relief payment.

Twenty percent of white respondents taking the survey said they don’t need stimulus checks, and that the government should give the money to someone else who needs it. That’s roughly twice the percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics who answered similarly.

Stimulus relief and wealth taxes

A tax on the net worth of America’s wealthiest individuals remains popular with voters, but has yet to be embraced by President Biden.

That said, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, introduced legislation on Monday that would tax the net worth of the wealthiest people in America, a proposal aimed at persuading the president and other Democrats to fund sweeping new federal spending programs by taxing the richest Americans.

This is not, reports the NY Times, among the top revenue-raisers that Democratic leaders are considering to help offset Mr. Biden’s campaign proposals to spend trillions of dollars on infrastructure, education, child care, clean energy deployment, health care and other domestic initiatives.

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Claiming stimulus check on 2020 tax return

As you may be aware, in February the IRS announced that it had sent out “all legally permitted” stimulus checks, but some individuals never received the second payment, or even the first. In some cases, the IRS did not have information on file, in others due to the stipulations of the CARES Act that authorized the Economic Impact Payments that were later remedied.

Whichever was the case, those who didn’t receive the full amount due to them will have to claim their stimulus check money through the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their taxes this year.

The rebate credit ties your stimulus money to your tax return. That means you won't get a separate check, but you could get either a larger tax refund or pay a smaller tax bill.

If you don't usually file taxes (for instance, if you're on SSI or SSDI, or if you're retired), you'll need to file this year. And you'll need to have your paperwork handy and in order before you start filing your taxes.

Here we provide all you need to know to claim yours if eligible.

No surprise tax bills during pandemic

More images, this time from the aforementioned Angie Craig, pushing to get IRS support ahead of potential stimulus bill approval.

IRS stimulus support

US Senator from Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar, has been working with state Representative Angie Craig to get the Inland Revenue Service to help people avoid tax filing confusion and delays in receiving returns.

Less than 9% of Democrats' spending plan would go to directly fight covid-19. Less than 1% to vaccinations.

This isn’t a recipe to safely reopen America. It’s what Democrats promised almost a year ago: Taking advantage of the crisis to check off unrelated liberal policies.

Mitch McConnell, US Senate Republican Leader via Twitter

McConnell slams stimulus relief package

Senate minority leader tears apart the proposed bill saying that the Democrats chose to ignore bipartisan support and go it alone.

He points to subtle tweaks to other policies to give kick-backs to certain favoured states as well as a list of non-pandemic relief programs that have been included.

Listen to what he had to say.

The racial wealth gap in the US

With another round of stimulus checks desperately awaited by millions of American families facing tough financial circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Season 3 of The Pay Check digs into into how we got to where we are today and what can be done to narrow the yawning racial wealth gap in the US.

As it states, more than 150 years after the end of slavery in the US, the net worth of a typical white family is nearly six times greater than that of the average Black family.

 

Stimulus checks, voting rights...

Representative of the 9th District of New Jersey and Chairman of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight, Bill Pascrell takes aim at Republicans for losing focus of what's important.

Another stimulus package

Ten Democratic senators are laying down a foundation for the next stimulus package as President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill is still winding its way through Congress.

Listen to Ylan Mui from CNBC business news explain the situation.

Stimulus checks help 1.6 million out of poverty

According to a report co-authored by economists at the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame, Bruce Meyer, James Sullivan and Jeehoon Han, more than one million Americans were lifted out of poverty in January as a result of federal stimulus checks and additional unemployment benefits.

“Our latest poverty estimates, for January 2021, indicate that this relief has reversed the recent trend of rising poverty,” they wrote.

In 2021, the federal poverty line is $12,880 in annual income for a single adult and $26,500 for a family of four.

Poverty fell sharply for groups like Blacks and those without college degrees, who had experienced a steep rise in poverty since the summer.

However, rates are still high for such groups. The poverty rate for Blacks is more than double that of whites, and it’s nearly three times higher for those with a high school degree or less, relative to those with more education, according to the economists.

Nursing homes and healthcare providers seek more stimulus funding 

Hospitals and nursing homes expect to see less than half their pre-pandemic revenue in 2021. The collective is hoping to get the Senate to include another $35 billion for the Provider Relief Fund to help shore up finances.

Last year Congress created the Provider Relief Fund to help nursing homes and health care providers pay for expenses related to covid-19  and offset revenue losses from postponing elective procedures.  

The House bill, which will be considered in the Senate this week, left out any money to top up the fund. Still many of the same conditions still exist now that did at the beginning of the pandemic causing financial stress. Of the $178 billion Congress put into the fund, just $4.4 billion will remain in the fund by the end of March.  

More stimulus bill provisions get the green light 

Democrats are utilizing budgetary reconciliation to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill, which means the provisions are subject to the Byrd rule or Byrd bath. That is where the Senate parliamentarian decides what makes the cut and what gets chopped.  

Last week, she decided that a $15 minimum wage hike could not be included in the sweeping legislation. This could be a blessing in disguise for the pandemic-relief bill to get through the Senate with only 50 votes, plus VP Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote. With the Senate split 50-50, and no Republican expected to vote in favor, Democrats need all 50 votes in their caucus to vote ‘yea’. 

On Monday the Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate parliamentarian approved provisions for aiding multi-employer pensions and providing laid-off workers with health-care premium subsidies. The Senate is expected to take up the legislation on Wednesday. 

 

Could crooks walk away with stimulus funds again? 

Congress is preparing to pass the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, perhaps by the end of the week. In the bill Congress is set to approve another $260 billion in covid-19-related unemployment benefits.  

That money will through the same patchwork of state-based systems which scammers used to siphon off more than $40 billion in pandemic relief intended for needy Americans last year. 

Cybercrime experts are warning that there could be a repeat of the grand theft again. They recommend that the government should adopt tougher anti-fraud safeguards to verify the identity, work history and location of applicants. Otherwise it’ll be “like Christmas for the fraudsters.”

GOP gambit on stimulus could come back to bite 

Biden’s first major agenda item passed 219-212 in the House with unanimous GOP opposition and two Democratic representatives crossing the aisle. As the Senate prepares to take up the bill for consideration Republicans look set to maintain total opposition to the bill.  

Even though the 2020 election is still fresh in minds, both parties are strategizing for 2022 midterms. The Democrats want to deliver on their promises made on the campaign trail that earned them control of both chambers of Congress and the White House. While Republicans want to stymie those prospects by limiting the size of the covid-19 relief bill much like they did to the Obama era relief bill.  

Kevin Walling in an op-ed argues that this will come back to haunt them in the mid-terms. Arguing that the bill is unfocused and too expensive, may fall on deaf ears this time round with the legislation receiving widespread support among the American public. This tactic may just backfire since Republicans can hardly claim to be fiscal conservatives after enthusiastically supporting stimulus spending under a Republican president. 

Some Americans are still waiting on their stimulus checks

Despite sending out millions of stimulus checks to Americans, the IRS was unable to locate some recipients, if you didn’t receive yours, here’s how. 

Read the full story:

"I expect a hardy debate and some late nights, but the American people sent us here with a job to do - to help the country through this moment of extraordinary challenge"

Chuck Schumer, Senate majority leader, as the upper house prepares to take up President Biden's $1.9tn covid-19 stimulus bill
Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) talks to reporters at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on Monday.

In addition to pledging to force a Senate vote aimed at keeping a minimum-wage increase in President Joe Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, Sanders has also joined a group of Democratic senators in signing a letter calling on Biden to include recurring stimulus checks in his next spending package.

(Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Futures dip as investors monitor stimulus progress

US stock index futures retreated on Tuesday after Wall Street's strong start to March as investors closely monitored the bond market as well as progress on the next round of fiscal stimulus.

The S&P 500 ended 2.4% higher on Monday, its best day since June, as markets cheered approval of a third covid-19 vaccine in the US and the House of Representatives' green light for a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

The Senate will start debating President Joe Biden's relief bill this week.

At 6:32 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were down 65 points, or 0.21% and 500 E-minis were down 13 points, or 0.33%. Nasdaq 100 E-minis were down 47.5 points, or 0.36%.

The US bond markets have stabilized since a selloff sent the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield to a one-year high last week, sparking fears over high valuations in the stock market and emerging as a competitive alternative to equities.

Later in the week, investors will focus on ISM's service sector survey as well as the monthly US jobs report to ascertain the economic health.

Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Wells Fargo & Co and Morgan Stanley dipped between 0.3% and 1.1% premarket.

Zoom Video Communications Inc jumped about 10% after the company forecast current-quarter revenue above estimates, as it expects millions of people to continue using its video-conferencing platform.

GameStop and other "meme" stocks AMC Entertainment and Koss shed about 1% and 4.4% after a sharp surge on Monday with no apparent news on the shares.

(Reuters)

2020 US tax return: what's the minimum income to file taxes?

Depending on their earnings, United States taxpayers may not have to submit a tax return.

Here's a breakdown of this year's income requirements for filing taxes this:

Wyden

Democratic senators call for recurring stimulus checks in next package

A group of Democratic senators has written to President Joe Biden calling for the inclusion of recurring direct payments in the president’s next stimulus spend.

As part of his ‘Build Back Better’ plan, Biden is expected to follow up his $1.9tn coronavirus relief package with another spending bill, and 10 senators led by Ron Wyden (D-Ore), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have urged the president to make recurring checks and automatic unemployment-insurance extensions a part of the package.

In a letter to Biden on Tuesday, the Democratic senators said: "This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads."

The letter did not specify how much the proposed recurring checks should be for.

The other seven signatories to the letter are Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Alex Padilla (D-Calif), Michael Bennet (D-Colo), Ed Markey (D-Mass), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

The Washington Post has published the senators' letter to Biden in full.

(Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/AFP)

When will the third stimulus check arrive?

The Senate prepares to debate President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan this week, with the $1.9tn relief package expected to be put to a vote by Friday... but when could Americans start receiving the round of stimulus checks included in the legislation?

Full details:

What is the child tax credit and how does it affect tax filing?

Here's more information on the expanded child tax credit proposed as part of Democrats' $1.9tn covid-19 stimulus package:

Khanna: "The country would be better off with a higher wage"

Increasing the national minimum wage would raise productivity among workers in the United States and leave the country "better off", Democratic congressman Ro Khanna says.

Khanna is one of 22 House Democrats who have written to Vice-President Kamala Harris urging her to use her powers as the Senate’s presiding officer to prevent a proposed minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour from being stripped from President Joe Biden’s $1.9tn relief package, which is to be taken up by the upper house this week.

Last week, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth Macdonough ruled that the provision cannot be passed in the chamber under the rules of ‘budgetary reconciliation’, a process Democrats are using to push Biden’s bill through the Senate without Republican support. As the Senate’s presiding officer, Harris can overrule Macdonough’s advice.

"My view is that the country would be better off with a higher wage that would help productivity, help the happiness of our employees," Khanna told a debate with conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro.

However, Khanna conceded that measures would have to be put in place to help smaller businesses to afford increased pay for their employees.

"I do believe in a $15 minimum wage," he said. "My belief is that the Amazons, Targets and Walmarts can easily pay that, but I understand that small businesses may have a difficult time in doing that, that’s why it needs to be gradual and why we need to have tax credits and other assistance to small businesses so that they can do that.”

Americans that live abroad are eligible for stimulus payments

American citizens living outside of the US qualified for the first two stimulus checks and will be eligible for the third direct payment included in President Biden's $1.9tn covid-19 relief bill.

Full details:

"Democrats may have learned their lesson: Go big or go home"

MSNBC columnist Hayes Brown says Republicans' opposition to President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill comes down to an attempt to boost their prospects in the midterm elections in 2022 - but he doesn’t expect the tactic to work as well as it did a decade ago.

"Whether Republicans like it or not (and they don't) the bill as it stands is the only game in town right now," Brown writes. "In response, they are pretty transparent about their efforts to obstruct like the dickens in the hope that they can turn around and blame Democrats for not getting anything done for Americans in the 2022 midterm elections."

Amid the Great Recession in 2009, Hayes notes, GOP opposition to President Obama’s American Recovery and Relief Act led to a smaller bill than was initially planned, one which, in Hayes' words, proved "less effective and ultimately less popular". However, he expects Democrats to have "learned their lesson" from this experience:

"Now, there's still a chance that Republicans' cynical gamble will pay off for them politically. By fall 2010, just ahead of the midterms, the GOP's anti-Obama mantra had sunk in with voters — more than two-thirds of Americans thought the 2009 stimulus bill was "a waste" by then. But Democrats may have learned their lesson: Go big or go home. They aren't budging on the size and scope of the bill, making it less likely that its effects are forgotten quickly.

"All this means that I, for one, am looking forward to the midterm commercials in 2022, when Republican members of the House are touting the benefits of the package while bending over backward to avoid citing where the funding came from. But we'll know. And we'll remember how hard they worked to block it.”

Over half of Americans counting on another round of stimulus

In case you missed it: according to a CNBC and Acorns poll conducted by Survey Monkey, 53% of Americans are "counting or need another round of stimulus" as the Senate prepares to take up President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, which includes direct payments of up to $1,400.

The survey found that BAME people in the US are most in need of economic relief: the above percentage rose to 53% for Asian Americans, 66% in the case of Hispanic Americans and 73% for black Americans.

The research also found that black women have been particularly badly affected by the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic: 38% of people in this demographic - 13% more than Americans overall - said they were turning to emergency savings or have had to accept loans from family or friends.

$400 new weekly unemployment benefits: when are they coming?

Full details:

Comparing the third stimulus check with the first two

President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill includes a stimulus check of up to $1,400 for qualifying Americans. How does this direct payment compare with the two sent out so far during the pandemic?

Full details:

Bill Gates: "Government always has a hard time targeting exactly the people who are in need"

Bill Gates says President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus package, which has failed to get support from congressional Republicans because of its size and scope, needs to be more targeted.

No Republican representatives voted for the bill as it was approved by the House on Saturday, and the legislation is not expected to get any support from GOP senators, leaving the Democrats preparing to push the package through the upper chamber via the ‘budgetary reconciliation’ process.

Passing legislation through reconciliation only requires a simple majority of 51 - which the Dems can achieve if every senator in the party votes for the bill - rather than the usual, filibuster-proof 60.

"The government always has a hard time targeting exactly the people who are in need and particularly if you’re designing programs very quickly," Gates told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday. "There’s no doubt there’s some number of people who really are still suffering, say it’s 15% out there.

"The other 85% had the benefit of last year’s stimulus activities and the poverty rate’s down and aggregate income levels are up, so it will be tricky when you want to move fast to be targeted. If you add this stimulus to the next round, to the ‘build back better’, that makes at least a few commentators worried about inflationary pressure.

"So I know there’s a lot of good things in this stimulus bill and the ‘build back better’ is going to have a lot of fantastic climate-related stuff in it, but I hope that we can target it better - and we are definitely getting to levels where those inflationary worries aren’t crazy."

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.

Full details:

New child tax credit: how to calculate

As part of President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, parents would receive monthly payments of up to $300 per child.

Further info:

Third stimulus check: how much extra money would dependents receive?

In a third round of stimulus checks, dependents could be in for a much larger pay out.

Full details:

Why was there a proposal for a $10,000 stimulus check and could it pass?

A Republican went big in mocking the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, and even filed an extreme amendment to the bill in the House to make his point.

Full story:

Senator Joe Manchin

Manchin: "We're looking for a targeted bill"

Joe Manchin, one of a set of more moderate Democratic senators seeking to reduce the cost of President Joe Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, speaks to the media near the Senate floor on Monday.

Manchin was one of nine Democratic senators who held talks with Biden on Monday. "We’re looking for a targeted bill. We want it to be very targeted, helping the people that need help the most," he later told reporters, per Bloomberg.

Lowering the federal outlay on the bill's round of $1,400 stimulus checks and its provision for $350bn in funding for state and local governments were among the issues discussed, the West Virginia senator indicated.

Manchin is also backing a reduction of the bill's planned $400 weekly unemployment-benefits supplement to $300.

(Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Biden meets moderate Democratic senators for relief-bill talks

President Joe Biden on Monday spoke to nine more moderate Democratic senators as he bids to push through his $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus package, which includes a round of direct payments of up to $1,400 for eligible Americans.

The bill, which passed the House on Saturday, is to be taken up this week by the Senate, where Democrats are aiming to approve the legislation without Republican support via the ‘budgetary reconciliation’ process, which requires a simple majority of 51 votes rather than a filibuster-proof 60.

The Senate is a 50-50 split - with Vice-President Kamala Harris given a tie-breaking vote - so the bill will need the support of every Democratic senator to pass (assuming, as appears almost certain, no Republicans support it).

Centrist Democrats such as Joe Manchin and Jon Tester are seeking to rein in the spending involved in the stimulus package, with Tester commenting after the meeting with Biden: "We talked about the package and we talked about some […] targeting, targeting dollars.”

Biden is to continue discussions with Democratic senators in a bid to ensure party unity on the bill. "We’ve reserved time in his schedule to ensure that he can be engaged, roll up his sleeves, and be personally involved in making phone calls, having more Zoom meetings, potentially having people here to the Oval Office to get this across the finish line," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told a news briefing on Monday.

Minimum-wage increase would lift 1.3m Americans out of poverty - Jayapal

Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal says it an increase in the national minimum wage is “deeply essential” after signing a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris making the case for such a measure to be kept in Biden’s stimulus bill.

On Monday, 22 House Democrats wrote to Biden and Harris urging the latter to user her powers as the Senate’s presiding officer to overrule the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling that a minimum-wage hike to $15 an hour cannot be passed under ‘budgetary reconciliation’, the process Dems are using to push the president’s $1.9tn relief package through the upper chamber without Republican support.

Reconciliation allows lawmakers to pass legislation with a simple majority of 51, rather than the filibuster-proof 60 votes usually required in the Senate, which is currently a 50-50 Democrat-Republican split.  

There’s 27 million people that would be lifted up in terms of their wages, 1.3 million people who would be lifted out of poverty, 30% of black workers would get a raise, 26% of Latinx workers would get a raise,” Jayapal told MSNBC on Monday.

She added: “It is just a myth that number one it’s not going to lift a lot of people up out of poverty, that it’s not deeply essential after 12 years of not raising the wage. And number two, this is a policy that is popular with Democrats, Republicans and independents. Let’s not forget that Florida went for Donald Trump in the last election, and voted a $15 minimum wage through with a super majority of voters.”

Jayapal continued: “I’ve already said that I think the parliamentarian should be overruled - that is not unprecedented. Hubert Humphrey did it in 1967 and 1969, Rockefeller did it in 1975. These are certainly unprecedented times where we could thank the parliamentarian for her opinion - it’s an advisory opinion - and then we could still include it […].

I’ve spoken to the speaker about this, I’ve spoken to the White House about it, it’s why the House left it in our bill even after the parliamentarian’s ruling, because we believe that it has to be included. Democrats are going to have to have a choice here: are we going to give Mitch McConnell veto power over all the things that we have promised to voters across the country and that are really popular.”

She added: “There are so many things that we have promised. Voters gave us the House, the Senate and the White House and we’re either going to have to include things in reconciliation or we’re going to have to reform the filibuster. Frankly, we’re probably going to have to do both, because there are some things that can’t be included in reconciliation.”

Sanders vows to force vote on $15-an-hour minimum wage

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has said he plans to force a Senate vote this week on amendment restoring the $15-an-hour national minimum wage to Democrats’ $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill, in the face of the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling that a pay increase cannot be passed in the upper chamber as part of the ‘budgetary reconciliation’ process.

"This week, as part of the reconciliation bill, I will be offering an amendment to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour," Sanders, who is the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said on Monday in a series of tweets. "At a time when millions of workers are earning starvation wages, when the minimum wage has not been raised by Congress since 2007 and stands at a pathetic $7.25 an hour, it is time to raise the minimum wage to a living wage."

Sanders added that he feels it is "absurd" that an unelected official has the power to scupper the proposed. He also called for an end to the filibuster in the Senate - which requires a minimum of 60 votes for a bill to advance from the debate stage to a vote - although he conceded that a minimum-wage hike most likely would not win a simple majority of Democratic votes, either.

"Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed by the decision of the parliamentarian who ruled that the minimum wage provision was inconsistent with the Byrd Rule and the reconciliation process," he tweeted. "But even more importantly, I regard it as absurd that the parliamentarian, a Senate staffer elected by no one, can prevent a wage increase for 32 million workers.

"My own personal view is that the Senate should ignore the parliamentarian’s advice, which is wrong in a number of respects. I am not sure, however, that my view at this point is the majority view in the Democratic Caucus.

"Obviously, as soon as we can, we must end the filibuster that currently exists in the U.S. Senate. Given the enormous crises facing working families today, we cannot allow a minority of the Senate to obstruct what the vast majority of the American people want and need."

Schumer: "We will pass the bold response Americans urgently need"

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says the upper chamber of US Congress will begin debating President Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill “this week”.

The package, which includes a stimulus check of up to $1,400 for qualifying Americans, passed the House of Representatives at the weekend.

"Make no mistake," Schumer tweeted, "we will pass the bold COVID response Americans urgently need."

He did not specify when the proposed legislation might go to a vote on the Senate floor.

Third stimulus check latest news: welcome

Hello and welcome to our daily live blog bringing you the latest information on the stimulus check of up to $1,400 proposed as part of President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said will be taken up by the upper chamber "this week".

With all 50 Democratic votes required to get the bill through the Senate using the 'budgetary reconciliation' process (no Republicans are expected to support the package), President Biden is seeking to ensure party unity over the legislation in talks with centrist Dem senators concerned about the cost of relief measures such as stimulus checks, $400 unemployment-benefits boost and $350bn in funding for state and local governments.

The president met with a group of nine such senators on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki telling reporters that Biden will continue to "be personally involved in making phone calls, having more Zoom meetings, potentially having people here to the Oval Office to get this across the finish line".

Meanwhile, progressive Democrats are petitioning Vice-President Kamala Harris to use her powers as the Senate’s presiding officer to overrule the Senate parliamentarian’s decision last week not to allow the inclusion of a minimum-wage increase in the bill, as it is deemed not to fall under the rules of reconciliation.

On Monday, 22 House Democrats wrote to Biden and Harris calling for the minimum-wage hike to be restored to the relief bill.

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