Third stimulus check updates: eligibility for Wednesday 3rd March 2021
Stimulus bill live updates - 3 March 2021
- Biden signed off on limiting $1,400 checks to those earning less than $80,000 for single filers and $160,000 for joint filers with no phase-out (full details)
- Senate introduction of new stimulus bill delayed until Thursday after late alterations to funding provision
- $1.9tn relief bill was passed by the House of Representatives last Saturday
- The American Rescue Plan is supported by roughly 70% of Americans (poll)
- Biden says he would support the stimulus bill's child tax credit increase being made permanent
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer insists: "Help is on the way"
- Stimulus check of up to $1,400 included in the Democrat-backed aid package
- 14 March cited as deadline for American Rescue Plan bill to be passed
- Progressive Dems call for minimum-wage hike not to be stripped from bill in the Senate
- House approve bill that will extend and increase federal pandemic unemployment benefits (more here)
- Get the latest stimulus check news in Spanish - las noticias sobre los cheques de estímulo en español
- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 28.7 million/517,833 (live updates)
Have a read of some of the latest related news stories:
Fewer Americans will receive stimulus checks after changes to eligibility requirements
There have been calls for changes to be made to the American Rescue Plan to make the support more targeted, and it seems that Senate Democrats will alter the eligibility requirements to see fewer people able to receive stimulus checks. Sources from within the Democratic Party claim that the upper threshold will be lowered to limit the number of people who can receive the payments.
It is hoped that the move will make it easier for them to pass the stimulus bill after Republicans have refused to back the proposal. Some infrastructure projects will also be cut from the bill, but the unemployment benefits appear likely to remain unchanged.
White House comfortable with changes in covid relief bill
The White House said on Wednesday that it was comfortable with changes made to President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill that would phase out $1,400 payments to high-income Americans.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Biden had been firm on the thresholds at which Americans should receive the stimulus checks. "He has also been open from the beginning for that being more targeted," Psaki said.
Total size of federal stimulus spending revealed
A full year after the House of Representative approved the first large-scale covid-19 relief bill, Congress prepares to vote on another $1.9 trillion of federal spending. The stimulus bills have been a key part of the struggle against the pandemic as two very different administrations have looked to address the public health crisis and prop up the covid-hit economy with serious cash injections.
One of the most visible methods of distributing this financial support was through stimulus checks, although that equates to just a fraction of the total spending. Much of the money has gone on supporting struggling businesses with financial relief, tax breaks and infrastructure spending.
Hundred of billions has been spent on developing, purchasing and distributing vaccines to help tackle to coronavirus itself, with even more funding for state and local government. When the new stimulus bill is agreed in the coming days, the combined total of stimulus spending will easily exceed the entirety of the federal budget for a normal year.
How to claim a stimulus check from the IRS on a 2020 tax return
In February the IRS confirmed that all "legally permitted” stimulus checks from the first two rounds of direct payments had been sent out. However millions of individuals still report that they are missing at least one of these vital relief payments. The IRS have now ceased distribution ahead of the much-anticipated passing of the third stimulus check, but there is still a way to get any money you may be missing.
Those who didn’t receive the full amount can claim their stimulus check money through the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their taxes this year. The system allows you to receive the missing payment either as a tax rebate or to lower the amount owed in the year's filing.
IRS pays out $3 billion in tax refund late interest
A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the IRS was forced to pay out a record-breaking $3.03 billion in interest for delayed tax rebates after a chaotic year for the tax authority. Aside from the complications and confusion caused by the pandemic, the IRS was also in charge of administrating the stimulus check distribution and found resources stretched to breaking point.
The report from the GAO also said: "IRS’s overall 2020 performance was significantly impacted by its reliance on manual processes such as for paper returns, and its limited ability to process returns remotely while processing centers were closed."
As it stands the IRS have said that they have no plans to push back the deadline for tax returns 2021, as they did last year, but some have called for people to be given extra time. Texas is the only state to have been given a deadline extension (until 15 June 2021) due to the winter storms that left millions without water and electricity.
Biden wants child tax credits increase extended indefinitely
One of the key inclusions in the new stimulus bill is a complete overhaul of the child tax credits provision which would see claimants able to receive up to $3,600 per year. As it stands the change would only last for the duration of one tax year but President Biden has reportedly stated that he is in favour of making the change permanent.
The increase is considerably higher than the $2,000 currently on offer and would be open to more of the lowest earning households the credit was made fully refundable. The payment method is also tweaked to make it more like the stimulus checks, with a monthly direct debit of up to $300 going out to eligible Americans.
Senate closes for the day before new stimulus bill can be introduced
The Democrats had hoped to get the American Rescue Plan introduced in the Senate at some point of Wednesday but it appears that late alterations to the bill will see that delayed until at least tomorrow. As we reported earlier, Senate Democrats appear to have changed the stimulus check eligibility after President Biden met with moderates earlier this week.
The resulting tweak has knocked roughly $12 billion from the total cost of the package but that will need to be confirmed and redrafted before it is reintroduced in Congress. The stimulus bill still appears likely to arrive tomorrow but will be subject to another delay when Republican Senator Ron Johnson will force the bill to be read aloud by Senate clerks, a reading which could take up to 10 hours.
Stimulus check eligibility changes will affect millions in more expensive areas
The American Rescue Plan will feature notably tougher eligibility requirements than was previously thought, meaning that many will miss out on receiving any form of stimulus check in the new round of payment. The amendment would see individuals earning more than $80,000 per year excluded from the support, as opposed to $100,000 in previous rounds.
As is made clear from this breakdown, that change would see many who live in comparatively expensive areas of the country go without the direct payments. For example over 40% of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area make at least $80,000, and none of them will now receive any of the $1,400 stimulus checks. While there is a need to put a cut-off point somewhere, many Democrats are frustrated that the Party appears to be alienating such a large proportion of the electorate so soon after Biden took office.
Democrat divisions over the fate of the third stimulus check
The vying factions from within the Democratic Party have been particularly obvious in recent weeks as President Biden looks to pass his new covid-19 relief bill as swiftly as possible. However while many progressive voices feel like the support does not go far enough, he appears to have followed the advice of more moderate figures who were concerned about the size of the $1.9 trillion price tag.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a prominent voice on the Party's progressive wing as she has criticised "conservative Democrats" who she says have demanded Biden "sends fewer & less generous relief checks". This could hint at headaches that will characterise Biden administration as he looks to keep those from within his own Party happy.
New stimulus bill will provide refundable child tax credits
As the Democrats prepare to introduce the American Resuce Plan in the Senate, we take a look at what President Biden's new stimulus bill offers to address the worrying rise in childhood poverty. In the past millions of the poorest Americans have been unable to receive the child tax credit but a series of alterations aims to make it more like the stimulus check payments.
How much is it worth, and what are the eligibility requirements for the new child tax credits? Here's everything you need to know about the $300 monthly payments.
Rep. Lieu criticises GOP stimulus check opponents
Californian Representative Ted Lieu has called out Republican lawmakers for their refusal to support the new covid-19 relief bill that would see $1,400 stimulus checks sent to eligible Americans.
A recent Morning Consult/Politico Poll found that 77% of the population support the American Rescue Plan, while only 18% oppose. Even more tellingly, a majority of Republicans (59%) also back the new stimulus bill. Stimulus checks has been a key concern for tens of millions who have received just $1,800 in direct support since the pandemic took hold 12 months ago.
Earlier today Lieu said: "Democrats are focused on shots in arms, money in pockets, kids in schools and people in jobs. We are working hard to pass the American Rescue Plan."
Democrats face outcry after altering stimulus check eligibility
Since the moment Joe Biden entered the White House as President for the first time, millions of Americans have been holding out for the long-awaited third stimulus check. But more than six weeks after entering office many are frustrated that not only has he not yet signed the new bill, it seems like fewer people will be eligible for the next stimulus check than originally thought.
As Huffington Post politics reporter Igor Bobic points out, there is already annoyance that the $2,000 amount mentioned during campaigning in Georgia will actually take the form of a $1,400 'top up' payment. There is now concern that this latest change will just exacerbate the issues, with progressive lawmakers calling for eligibility requirements to stay the same.
Senate candidate brands stimulus check opponents "out of touch"
Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman has released a statement criticising those who have called for the eligibility requirements for the third stimulus check to be tightened. It has emerged that the new direct payments will be sent to fewer Americans than originally planned after Senate Democrats agreed to limit the number of middle-earners who can receive the checks.
In the statement, Fetterman compares the wrangling over the new stimulus bill to the trillions of dollars worth of tax cuts for the wealthy that were passed by the Senate in 2017. The Democrats prepare to introduce the new stimulus bill later today ahead of a Senate vote later this week.
Republicans will demand full reading to delay stimulus bill
As the Democrats prepare to introduce President Biden's $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill in the Senate, it seems like Republican resistance is showing no signs of stopping. In a break from usual Senate procedure, the GOP members will reportedly insist on hearing the whole bill read out loud.
This will do little more than delay the eventual vote on the stimulus bill but demonstrates how desperate the Republicans are to prevent it being passed. In recent hours the Democrats have agreed to alter the stimulus check eligibility requirements to make the proposal more palatable for moderates, but the GOP are still refusing to support the package.
Update on stimulus check eligibility
In the last couple of hours it has been revealed that the third stimulus check payments included in the American Rescue Plan will be subject to tighter eligibility restrictions than previous rounds. The full amount will be available for the same groups as before, but higher earners will see the proportion given reduced much more swiftly.
The decision will see around $12 billion of federal spending cut from the $1.9 trillion package that will be introduced in the Senate later today. The move should make it easier for Senate Democrats to pass the stimulus bill, which is a centre piece of President Biden's covid-19 recovery strategy. The White House is desperate to see the new bill passed before 14 March, when the existing unemployment benefits expire.
Schumer announces that Senate will debate stimulus
Once the bill is formally on introduced on the floor, the Senate will debate for 20 hours. In that time Senators will be allowed to present amendments to the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill.
Senator Bernie Sanders announced on Monday that he plans to introduce one on raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Although it passed the House it was dropped to assure quicker passage of the bill.
Republicans are getting set to make the vote-a-rama even more of a marathon. GOP lawmakers plan to delay the final vote on the legislation by adding poison pill amendments.
Senate Democrats to push for $15 minimum wage hike in stimulus bill
Senator Bernie Sanders will introduce an amendment on raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The House passed the measure buts was dropped by Senate.
Read the full story:
Democrats agree to target stimulus checks
Democrats have been struggling to keep party unity in the Senate where they will need all 50 votes in their caucus to pass the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Besides the minimum wage fight and targeting the $350 billion in state and local aid, making sure that the third round of stimulus checks got into the right hands was a potential sticking point.
According to NBC's Garrett Haake from multiple Democratic sources have told him that President Biden has signed off on a change to lower the income cap for those who will receive $1,400 stimulus checks in from the covid-19 relief package Congress is working to pass.
Instead of phasing out for individuals with incomes over $75,000 and joint filers over $150,000, there will be a hard cutoff of $80,000 and $160,000 respectively.
Will Republicans draw out the vote-a-rama on stimulus package?
Although the Republicans don’t have the filibuster in their quiver to stop the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill set to be brought to the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, they do have a card up their sleeve. Democrats are using budget reconciliation to pass the American Rescue Plan Act with a simple majority, bypassing a GOP filibuster raising the needed votes to 60.
Under the rules, once the bill is introduced on the Senate floor, the chamber has 20 hours to debate the legislation and add amendments. To slow the process down, with the hope of scuppering the bill, GOP Senators could try to add an endless number of amendments extending the vote-a-rama. They will have to have the stamina of James Stewart in Mr. Smith goes to Washington though if they want to stop the bill.
Stimulus bill contains measures to halve childhood poverty
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act due to be considered in the Senate this week contains sweeping legislation to fight the covid-19 pandemic and stabilize the US economy. One proposal specifically could reduce childhood poverty by more than 40 percent, lifting 4.1 million children above the poverty line.
The change to the Child Tax Credit would give families a tax credit of $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for child under 18. Half the amount would be sent out as monthly direct payments that could begin in July. The remainder would be available as a tax rebate when Americans file their taxes in 2022.
A couple of ideas for where to find money for stimulus
Robert Reich, who was Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton, has a few ideas of where to find funding for the covid-19 relief bill working its way through Congress. One of the measures, a wealth tax, was introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Rep. Brendan Boyle on Tuesday.
It would levy a 2% annual tax on the net worth of households and trusts between $50 million and $1 billion as well as a 1% annual surtax on assets above $1 billion, for a 3% tax overall on billionaires.
Stimulus for the economy through supporting child care
Child care centers have been taking a beating during the pandemic with enrollment down and costs up keeping staff and kids safe from covid-19. Many parents pulled children out as they began to work from home or were laid off. However if the centers go under when Americans can finally go back to the office, they won’t have a place for their children to be cared for.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, that is expected to be taken up in the Senate when the chamber meets at 12pm ET, includes a provision to help the industry. $39 billion in federal funds will help these small businesses, privately owned and operated stay afloat, providing retroactive funds to pay off debts incurred. A sign of a growing understanding that without this industry and these workers, parents of young children can’t go to work.
Dolly encourages public to get vaccinated
Ms. Parton, 75, received a Moderna shot at Vanderbilt Health in Tennessee on Tuesday. She wrote on twitter “Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine.” Early in the pandemic Ms. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which worked with the drug maker Moderna, for research on the covid-19 vaccine.
Eventually the US government invested $1 billion toward the Moderna vaccine which was one of the first covid-19 vaccines to be authorized in the United States. Dr. Mark Denison, the leader of the research effort, said that the singer’s donation had funded its critical early stages.
Stimulus bill gives families with children extra money
As part of the $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill to be taken up the Senate this week, qualifying US households are in line for an increased child tax credit.
Read the full story:
Will the $1,400 stimulus check affect your 2021 tax return?
With Congress en route to pass President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan before 14 March, how will the $1,400 stimulus checks included affect tax returns?
Read the full story:
Stimulus hopes and vaccine promise see US stock futures rise
The S&P 500 is poised to rebound as progress toward a new stimulus deal and the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines buoy investors’ sentiment
Democrats in US House introduce wide-ranging climate bill
Three Democratic lawmakers in the US House of Representatives unveiled a wide-ranging climate bill on Tuesday that embraces President Joe Biden's goals to curb climate change including decarbonizing the electric grid by 2035.
Introduced by Representatives Frank Pallone, Paul Tonko and Bobby Rush, and incorporating input from the Biden administration, the bill includes a federal clean electricity standard requiring a percentage of retail power sales to come from sources that produce little or no carbon emissions.
The Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation's Future Act, or CLEAN, requires 80% clean electricity by 2030 and 100% by 2035.
The power could come from sources including wind, solar and existing nuclear energy. That could provide a boost to nuclear power, an industry experiencing shutdowns amid low prices for natural gas, a competing fuel.
The bill also sets a goal of a fully decarbonized economy by 2050. On transportation, the largest source of carbon emissions, the bill authorizes $100 million annually from fiscal 2022 to 2031 for entities that install publicly accessible electric vehicle (EV) supply equipment. It also requires the energy secretary to establish a program to help determine where EV charging stations are needed and expands EV access in disadvantaged communities.
Potential sticking points for Democrats with the bill
It is not clear whether Democrats will keep a project that has drawn Republican ire - funding for a subway expansion in California's Silicon Valley, near the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Democrats have shown no interest in dropping another partisan sticking point - $350 billion in aid for state and local governments, which face rising costs and uncertain tax revenues because of the pandemic.
Analysis found that Democratic-leaning states would get a larger share of that money this time around than they did under the first $150 billion of state and local aid that Congress approved last year.
Other areas could get whittled back. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a key centrist, is pushing to scale back enhanced unemployment benefits to $300 per week from $400. Lawmakers may also opt to discontinue those benefits if unemployment in a given state drops below a certain level, according to a Democratic aide.
Democrats also may tighten income qualifications for $1,400 direct payments, so they are more targeted toward lower-income households, an aide said.
Jobless aid, direct checks could get trimmed as U.S. Senate takes up covid-19 aid bill
The US Senate is expected to take up President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Wednesday, with fellow Democrats seeking to advance key priorities and jettison aspects that have drawn unflattering scrutiny.
With Republican cooperation unlikely, Democrats who narrowly control the chamber need to stick together to pass Biden's top legislative priority.
That will require them to sort out a welter of competing ideas as they seek to advance the bill, which passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives last Saturday.
The covid-19 pandemic has killed 515,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work.
First to go will be a minimum-wage increase, which the Senate parliamentarian said last week could not be included in the package if Democrats want to invoke a special procedure that could allow them to pass the bill with a simple majority, rather than the 60 votes needed to advance most legislation in the 100-seat chamber.
Democrats and their allies currently control 50 seats, with Vice President Kamala Harris giving them a tie-breaking vote if needed.
Also on the chopping block: $1.5 million for a bridge connecting Canada and New York state, which Republicans have derided as an example of special-interest spending they say has no place in the bill. Aides to Democratic Senate Majority
Leader Chuck Schumer, who represents New York, say funding was requested by the administration of Republican former President Donald Trump.
Despite covid pandemic, US manufacturing activity hits three-year high
US manufacturing activity increased to a three-year high in February amid a surge in new orders, but factories continued to face higher costs for raw materials and other inputs as the pandemic drags on.
The acceleration reported by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Monday was despite a global semiconductor chip shortage, which has hurt production at automobile plants.
It was the latest indication of strong economic performance early in the first quarter, thanks to nearly $900 billion in additional covid-19 relief money from the government and a drop in new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.
"Manufacturing is doing well but it will not be smooth sailing over the next few months because of supply-chain disruptions, slow delivery times and a global shortage of semiconductors," said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Democrat unity key to bill passing maintain FT
Having failed to secure any support for a $1.9tn Covid-19 relief package from Republican lawmakers, the White House is focused on maintaining Democratic party unity to pass the bill.
Pandemic reverses women's workplace gains
The coronavirus pandemic reversed women's workplace gains in many of the world's wealthiest countries as the burden of childcare rose and female-dominated sectors shed jobs, according to research released today.
Women were more likely than men to lose their jobs in 17 of the 24 rich countries where unemployment rose last year, according to the latest annual PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Women in Work Index.
Jobs in female-dominated sectors like marketing and communications were more likely to be lost than roles in finance, which are more likely to be held by men, said the report, calling the slowdown a "shecession".
Meanwhile, women were spending on average 7.7 more hours a week than men on unpaid childcare, a "second shift" that is nearly the equivalent of a full-time job and risks forcing some out of paid work altogether, it found.
IRS offers tax filing tips
Using the IRS Free File lets you prepare and file your federal income tax online for free with brand name software.
Approximately 70% of Americans support Biden Rescue Plan
About 70% of Americans…support Biden and Democrats' measures," journalist Elliot Morris says about polling for the $1.9T Covid-19 relief bill.
Schumer says Biden covid-19 relief bill on track for enactment by mid-March
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday that Congress is on track to approve a $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill, and send the legislation on to President Joe Biden for signing, before pandemic-related unemployment benefits expire on March 14.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed his optimism that the 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill will pass in the Senate this week will need the support of all 48 Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote to pass the measure before some jobless benefits expire on March 14.
Biden withdraws Tanden's nomination to be White House budget chief
The White House has withdrawn the nomination of Neera Tanden to head its budget office, bowing to political reality as her selection ran into stiff opposition over tweets that upset lawmakers.
"I have accepted Neera Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from nomination for director of the Office of Management and Budget," President Joe Biden said in a short statement.
Biden said, however, that he planned to have her serve in his administration in some capacity.
In a letter to the president released by the White House, Tanden acknowledged her nomination had become more than an uphill climb.
"Unfortunately, it now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation, and I do not want continued consideration of my nomination to be a distraction from your other priorities," Tanden said.
How to claim a stimulus check from the IRS on a 2020 tax return
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.
American Rescue Plan
The version of the bill approved by the House would pay for vaccines and medical supplies and send a new round of emergency financial aid to households, small businesses and state and local governments. It includes $1,400 direct payments to individuals, a $400-per-week federal unemployment benefit through to the end of August and help for those having difficulty paying rents and home mortgages during the pandemic.
The Senate version is likely to include at least one major change: eliminating a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour over five years from its current $7.25. Late last week the effort was blocked under special rules designed to ease passage of this legislation in the Senate.
Minimum wage to come under microscope in bill
Democrats are expected to resuscitate their minimum wage initiative sometime after the covid-19 bill is enacted. Congress is trying to give final approval to Biden's top legislative priority as the pandemic already has taken the lives of more than 515,000 Americans.
"Millions of jobs and trillions of dollars have been taken out of our economy," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor on Tuesday. He said the bill "is designed to finish the job, to patch up the holes in our economy and lay a foundation for our recovery."
Democrats not expecting Republican backing for the entire bill
"It is my hope that at the end, Senate Republicans will unanimously oppose it, just like House Republicans did," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, complaining that the measure was filled with provisions he said were unrelated to the pandemic.
Nonetheless, Democrats are bolstered by public opinion polls indicating a majority of Americans back Biden's aid plan.
The Senate was due to take up as early as today (Wednesday March 3rd) the measure passed last weekend by the House of Representatives.
Democratic senators were privately discussing among themselves and with Biden reallocating at least some of the huge pot of money.
US senators refine Biden's $1.9 trillion covid plan
Negotiations over President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill go into overdrive this week as the U.S.
Senate begins debate over the sweeping legislation and lawmakers jockey to include pet projects, while tossing others overboard.
Senator Angus King, an independent aligned with Biden's Democrats, has been pushing for billions of dollars to expand high-speed broadband service in rural areas - an idea that could attract Republican support.
Dollar on defensive as risk sentiment recovers amid retreat in US. yields
The safe-haven US dollar remained broadly weaker on Wednesday as Treasury yields continued to retreat, restoring some calm to global markets and reigniting demand for riskier assets.
Fiscal stimulus has fuelled market expectations for a rapid recovery, with President Joe Biden close to passing a $1.9 trillion spending package.
An index of the dollar against six of its major peers was little changed early in the Asian session Wednesday, after dropping back from a nearly one-month high overnight.
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Third stimulus check latest news: welcome
Hello and welcome to our daily live blog on Wednesday 3 March, 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".