Third stimulus check news summary: 06 March 2021

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Third stimulus check passed in Senate updates: how much, when will be signed and sent

Stimulus relief bill live updates - 6 March

Headlines:

- Senate votes to pass President Biden's $1.9 stimulus bill after marathon session in Congress (full details)

- In a partisan vote all Republicans present voted against the stimulus check proposal

- After Senate voted in favour the amended bill now moves to the House for a second vote

- Biden: Stimulus check payments will be "starting this month" (When?)

- Schumer expects stimulus bill to be signed into law before 14 March unemployment benefits deadline

- Senate vote sees proposed $15 minimum wage increase rejected, with eight Dems voting against

- Protestors gather in New York to protest against lack of stimulus support for excluded workers

- VP Harris overruled GOP opposition to continue Senate debates

- President Biden approves limiting $1,400 checks to those earning less than $80,000 (full details)

- 70% of Americans in favour of The American Rescue Plan (poll)

- 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: 28.9 million/523,495 (live updates)

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

Republican Senator says convicted killers should not receive stimulus checks

Republican Senator Tom Cotton has criticised the move to hand out stimulus checks to all Americans as it would not exclude serial murderers and criminals on death row. He posted two messages on Twitter on Saturday after the Senate approved President Joe Biden's 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. He cited two examples: "Aaron Shamo was sentenced to life in prison for selling "1 million fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills to unsuspecting buyers." He'll be getting a $1,400 stimulus check while in prison from the Democrats' "COVID relief" bill".

Manchin threat sees unemployment benefits cut in stimulus bill

President Biden's new stimulus bill was finally passed by the Senate on Saturday but a Republican amendment threatened to derail the whole package. A record-breaking 12-hour Senate vote was needed to find a solution but the resultant amendment reduces the jobless provision in the $1.9 trillion bill. 

The package will now return to the House of Representatives for a vote on the amended bill, and President Biden will be hoping that no Democrats vote against the alterations. Biden said he was happy with the changes but they take a considerable amount from the weekly payments that he proposed initially.

Read more:

Rev. Warnock welcomes stimulus bill passing the Senate

Little over two months ago Rev. Warnock and Jon Ossoff won their Senate runoff races in Georgia to hand the Democrats the control of the Senate, and unified control in Washington. They ran on the promise that doing so would allow President Biden to pass a much more generous stimulus bill than they would otherwise be able to. 

Despite having to make some concessions on who qualifies for the stimulus checks and the size of unemployment benefits, the support is clearly much greater than would have passed a Republican Senate. The American Rescue Plan has been subject to votes in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and all 259 Republican Representatives and Senators voted against the package. 

Who qualifies for the new stimulus check?

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was finally passed by the Senate today but the final bill was not exactly the same as the one proposed by President Biden back in January. To ensure that he got the votes of some more moderate Democrat Senators, changes were made to the eligibility reuirements to lower the total cost of the $1,400 stimulus checks. 

Everyone who was originally entitled to the full $1,400 will keep that amount, but above the income threshold the suport phases out much more quickly. An estimated 12 million Americans could be excluded after the late change, here's everything you need to know if you will be getting the third stimulus check

Read more:

"The Senate has now passed President Biden's American Rescue Plan to provide long-awaited relief to Americans suffering from the economic impacts of covid-19 and to boost our capacity to save lives by ramping up the deployment of testing and vaccines.

On Tuesday, the House will consider the Senate's amended version of the American Rescue Plan, so that we can send this bill to President Biden for his signature early next week. Democrats are delivering on our promise to take action to defeat this virus and provide the assistance the American people need until our economy can reopen safely and fully."

Rep. Steny Hoyer, Majority Leader of the House

Families could receive up to $70,000 from stimulus bill

A report from the Washington Post has added up the total amount of financial support that a family of who, in which one parents has lost their job, could be in line to receive from the American Rescue Plan. This is a combination of all direct support that is included in the $1.9 trillion package. 

The total includes the $1,400 stimulus checks, the extended unemployment benefits and child tax credits among other things. Biden has billed the legislation as a key step in reversing the economic hardship felt by millions during the pandemic, and the extent of that support is clear to see. 

Rep. Hoyer announces date for House vote

On Saturday the Senate finally passed the covid-19 relief bill after hours of tense discussion. The vote sees President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan clear the Seante and will now move to the House of Representatives for a second vote there.

The bill includes a round of stimulus checks worth up to $1,400, which Biden has said he hopes to begin distributing before the end of the month. Speaking after the Senate vote, House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said he was optimistic about the prospect of passing the bill in the coming days. 

Read more:

GOP mounts united front against stimulus check proposal

The main reason for the Democrats' last-minute panic about the unemployment benefits was because all Republican Senators made clear that they had no intention of support the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. The same happened in the House vote last week, as all 210 GOP representatives voted against the package. 

Their opposition is a stark contrast to the mood in the country where around three-quarters of the population are in support of the American Rescue Plan. Not only that, but a recent study showed that 60% of Republican voters believed that Biden's stimulus bill should be passed. 

New stimulus bill provides tax-free unemployment benefits

The $1,400 stimulus checks have probably been the most eagerly anticipated element of Biden's American Rescue Plan, but after it was passed by the Senate today it is worth taking a look at what else is included in the package. 

The unemployment benefits included were the main sticking point over the last 36 hours as Democratic Senators frantically looked for a compromise that would keep the party's vote unified. In the end they were forced to lower the weekly jobless payment to $300, rather than $400, but kept one important element. 

The first $10,200 of additional unemployment benefits sent to each American will be completely tax free, allowing them to keep all of the support that they receive. It may not completely counteract the $100 decrease but is a hugely beneficial addition. 

Biden promises stimulus check payments will begin this month

We finally have a rough date for the third round of stimulus checks to begin distribution after the Democrats successfully passed the American Rescue Plan in the Senate. President Biden gave a 10 minute long speech in the White House to thank the Senators and others who work for the bill, and set out a plan of action going forward. 

During the course of his address, Biden promised that stimulus payments will go out the door "starting this month". 

For more information on this, check out: When will you receive your stimulus check?

After passing a Senate vote, when will the third stimulus checks be sent?

The long-awaited $1,400 stimulus checks edged a step closer today as the Senate voted to pass the American Rescue Plan. The bill contained the new stimulus checks, albeit with a slightly narrower income threshold than originally proposed. 

The bill has not yet been signed into law but the Democrats are confident that the current bill will remain unchanged from now on. They believe they can get it signed before the 14 March deadline when unemployment benefits expire, but how long will it take for the stimulus checks to be sent?

Read more:

Schumer delighted after Senate passes stimulus bill

The new stimulus bill was a cornerstone of President Biden's plan to tackle both the public health and economic crises caused by the pandemic. The package was narrowly passed earlier today, representing a huge victory for both the President and for the new Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer. 

Speaking to Capitol reporters shortly after the vote, Schumer said: "Whether it's with stimulus checks, vaccines, opening the schools, we're showing that we are keeping our promise.

"And I think that's going to change America to a decent extent, I think people which have much more confidence in a government that can get things done". 

House vote on stimulus bill reportedly scheduled for Tuesday

The Democrats are eager to get the new stimulus bill signed into law as quickly as possible and will look to get the House vote scheduled for Tuesday 9 March. 

On Saturday Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he believes the House of Representatives will approve the Senate-passed version of the stimulus bill in the coming days and President Joe Biden will sign it by 14 March, the date when the existing additional unemployment benefits expire.

Senate passes Biden's American Rescue Plan

After a mammoth overnight voting session in Washington the Senate has voted in favour of the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that will provide $1,400 direct payments to around 150 million Americans.

A late change means that the bill will have to return to the House of Representatives for a final vote, because it now differs from that package that they voted on. Once passed by the House the bill will then be sent to the White House for President Joe Biden to officially sign into law.

Read more:

What's in the stimulus bill passed by the Senate?

Despite a late change to the unemployment benefits, the package that was passed in a Senate vote just minutes ago closely resembles the American Rescue Plan first unveiled by Biden in January. There have been some changes to the eligibility for stimulus checks and how much you receive in unemployment benefits, but the President will be delighted that it has passed.

When will the bill be signed into law? After the amendments altered the bill, it will have to return to the House of Representatives for a final vote. Once that is done, and Biden has signed it, the stimulus checks could still be sent out from mid-March. 

Marathon Senate session votes to pass stimulus bill

After a massive delay overnight as Dem Sen. Joe Manchin dug his heels in about the level of unemployment support included in the new stimulus bill, the Democrats have passed Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The unemployment benefits was dropped from $400 a week to $300 a week, and will end in early Sept rather than the end of that month, but Biden will just be reliefed to get the bill passed in the Senate. 

That amendment, however, means that the bill will have to return to the House of Representative for a vote on the final bill. The Dem-led House should not have any problem getting the support needed and it seems unlikely that any Rep would vote against a bill they had supported just days ago. 

"Nobody said passing one of the largest, perhaps the most significant bill to help the poor and working people in decades was going to be easy, particularly with 50 votes, but it is done."

"Let me especially thank the floor staff, the clerks, the cafeteria workers, custodial staff, and the Capitol Police and National Guard. Many of them have worked for as many as 36 hours straight."

Sen. Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader

GOP votes against stimulus bill despite widespread approval

The Dems have passed the new stimulus bill in the Senat by a single seat with a 50-49 victory. Every Republican present for the vote did not support the $1.9 trillion package, putting them at odds with the majority of the country. 

Recent studies showed that three-quarters of Americans wanted the bill to be passed, with even 60% of Republican voters supporting the package. Key inclusions were a third stimulus check, worth $1,400, which has been extremely popular. 

 

Partisan split as Senate passes new stimulus bill

As expected the $1.9 trillion package has been passed with both sets of senators voting along party lines. Despite late concern that Dem Senator Joe Manchin may dissent, he provided the 50 votes needed to provide a majority. 

Had the chamber been full VP Kamala Harris could have been called to provide the tie-breaking vote, but the absense of Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), who left town for a family emergency, gave the Dems the victory. 

BREAKING: Senate passes Biden's stimulus bill

After months of negotiations, weeks of discussions in Congress and a delayed vote that took days, the Senate has finally voted to pass President Biden's American Rescue Plan. The $1.9 trillion package includes a round of $1,400 stimulus check, improved child tax credit provision and hundreds of billions of dollars to support the vaccine rollout. 

Record-breaking vote delays stimulus bill

The Senate passing of the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill appeared to have hit the rocks yesterday when Dem Sen. Joe Manchin played hard ball on elements of the unemployment benefits. The Dems agreed to lower the weekly payment to $300 a week (from $400) and Manchin is back on side. 

The 12-hour vote was the longest of its kind in Senate history, comfortably beating the 10-hour mark of the previous longest. The Dems have pushed through the other votes much more easily and are hopefully of holding the final Senate vote later today. 

"End in sight" to covid relief bill amendment process

Senators have been attempting to hammer out a deal over amendments to Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion covid stimulus package and have been at it for 24 hours solid now. However, according to CNN, Democrats and Republicans are hopeful that the finish line is "in sight" after a long night of talks.

Compromises from Democrats have been forced on stimulus check eligibility while the Senate debate on Joe Biden's $1.9tn covid relief bill continues.

aid

A Senate aide displays a sign with talking points during a news conference given by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as the Senate continues to debate the latest Covid-19 relief bill, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on March 5, 2021.

Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP

biden

Biden bumps up White House staff

Joe Biden on Friday rounded out his White House staff with a host of new appointments focused on covid-19, criminal justice, the economy and other major issues, including a new top adviser on technology and competition issues.

The White House announced six additional staffers to its National Economic Council, including Columbia University professor Tim Wu, who coined the term "net neutrality" and has warned against an economy dominated by a few giant firms.

Wu authored "The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age" in 2018, in which he warned about the inequalities created by extreme economic concentraion. He has previously served as senior enforcement counsel to the New York Attorney General and as adviser at the Federal Trade Commission and the National Economic Council.

"Putting this twitter feed on hold for now -- so long!" Wu, said in a post on Friday.

His appointment is a win for progressives, who have pushed for tougher scrutiny of big tech firms such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Google and is likely to shape the White House's approach on tougher antitrust enforcement.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Senate JudiciaryAntitrust Committee, said Wu's appointment shows theadministration is serious about promoting competition in theUnited States. "America has a major monopoly problem that mustbe urgently addressed," she said.

Congressional Democrats have already begun talks with the White House on ways to crack down on tech companies, including making them responsible for disinformation and addressing their market power.

Several Republicans have also sought to hit back at Big Tech, including efforts to scrap a law known as Section 230 that shields online companies for liability over users' posted content.

In the White House statement on new staff, Biden also named 13 additions to his Domestic Policy Council and two more staffers to the White House covid-19 response team.

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

The IRS is given time to process your tax return and send you a refund from the 15 April due date, if they are late, they will pay you interest.

Read more:

Vermont to receive $1.3 billion slice of Covid-19 Relief Bill

Vermont’s state and local governments would stand to receive around $1.3 billion from the US Senate’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package - $400 million more than previously estimated. Approximately $655 million of that would be designated to help the state battle the coronavirus pandemic.

A Head of Household get more generous tax rates and a higher threshold for receiving a stimulus check than a single filer or married, filing separately.

Read more:

Kyrsten Sinema under fire for thumbs-down gesture

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema was widely criticised on social media for her demonstrative way of showing her disapproval to an amendment in President Biden's Covid-19 Relief bill to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Sinema marched to the front of the House and pointedly gave a thumbs-down - a gesture which some criticised for being "callous" and others thought it was uncalled-for and attention-seeking.

The amendment, which required 60 votes to be included, was voted down 42-58 with all Republicans voting against it.

She later issued a statement on her personal Twitter account: "I understand what it is like to face tough choices while working to meet your family's most basic needs. I also know the difference better wages can make, which is why I helped lead Arizona's effort to pass an indexed minimum wage in 2006, and strongly supported the voter-approved state minimum wage increase in 2016. No person who works full time should live in poverty. Senators in both parties have shown support for raising the federal minimum wage and the Senate should hold an open debate and amendment process on raising the minimum wage, separate from the COVID-focused reconciliation bill".

The Senate will soon vote on the third stimulus check, but it is not too late to get any previous direct payments paid as a Recovery Rebate Credit by the IRS.

Read more:

Eight Democrats who voted against minimum wage proposal

A total of eight Democrats joined all 50 Republicans in voting against a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25  to $15.

Senate

Democrats advance Biden's $1.9 trillion Relief bill in marathon Senate session

Democrats in the US Senate forged ahead with President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan early on Saturday, turning back Republican attempts to modify the package in a marathon session that had begun the prior day.

With Republicans united in opposition, Democrats who narrowly control the chamber must keep all 50 of their members on board in order to pass the package, as they hope to do this weekend. Progress ground to a halt for more than 11 hours as Democrats negotiated a compromise on unemployment benefits to satisfy centrists, chiefly Senator Joe Manchin, who worried the massive package might overheat the economy. With that issue resolved, the chamber then moved to a series of Republican attempts to modify the bill.

The first attempt, to adjourn for the evening, fell short by a vote of 48 to 50.  Unemployment aid is just one of many friction points in the sweeping bill. An attempt to raise the minimum wage fell short earlier in the day, and Democrats had earlier modified the bill to steer more aid to smaller states and cities. The version passed by the House last Saturday calls for $400 per week in jobless benefits up until 29 August, on top of state benefits, to help Americans who have lost jobs amid the economic trauma caused by the coronavirus. The compromise would lower that weekly benefit to $300, but extend it through 6 September, according to a Democratic aide. The first $10,200 would be tax-free.

The agreement also extends a tax break for businesses for an additional year until 2026. Biden supports the compromise, the White House said. If the Senate passes the bill, the House would have to sign off on those changes before Biden could sign it into law.

Republicans were one vote down after Senator Dan Sullivan left Washington en route home to Alaska for a family funeral. Republicans have broadly supported previous stimulus packages to fight the virus and revive the world's largest economy, which has yet to replace 9.5 million jobs lost since last year. But with Democrats in charge of the White House and both chambers of Congress, they have criticized this bill as too expensive.

Washington received unexpected good news on Friday after data showed that employment surged in February, adding 379,000 jobs, significantly higher than many economists had expected. The US unemployment rate, while still high at 6.2% last month, was down from 6.3% in January.

"We are facing crises unlike any we have faced in our lifetime"

Bernie Sanders accused Republicans of obstructionism and being more interested in hampering President Joe Biden's Covid-19 Relief Bill than actually helping struggling households and the US economy.

When asked his opinion on Republicans' reservations about the Relief Bill's $1.9 trillion price tag, Sanders argued, "I wonder where their diligence and their concern was when they gave over a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the very rich and large corporations. I wonder where their concern was when they voted and pushed the $740 billion military budget. The American people correctly perceive that we are in an urgent moment. We ought to move as quickly as we can. That's what President Biden wants. Today we are facing a series of crises - health care, pandemic, economic, education, mental illness. We are facing crises unlike any we have faced in our lifetime. The bill that we are fighting for right now, that hopefully will be passed in a few days, in my view, is the most significant piece of legislation for working families that Congress has passed in many, many decades".

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus relief bill progress and a proposed third round of stimulus checks.

The Senate voted on the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan with Democrats forging ahead with their plan to push the bill through within days.

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