Third stimulus check news summary: 09 March 2021

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Third stimulus check updates today: who gets the payment, when will people get the 3rd check, IRS tax | Live

Stimulus check and relief bill news: live

Headlines:

- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer: lower chamber to take up revised $1.9tn stimulus bill on Wednesday at 9am

- US economy set to grow 6.5% this year and 4.0% next year, according to OECD

- American Rescue Plan bill voted through last Saturday with all Democrats voting in favour and all Republicans voting against it

- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vows approval will come before 14 March, when jobless aid approved in previous coronavirus aid bills expires

- 'Help is on its way' claim both Biden and Pelosi

- President Biden to give first prime-time address to the nation on Thursday on anniversary of covid shutdown

- Bill will provide $1,400 stimulus checks and $300 weekly unemployment benefits through to 6 September

- Dow advances and reaches a record intra-day high as stimulus bill nears finish line

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

- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 29.05 million/525,815 (live updates)

Further reading: related news stories

The $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, including a third round of stimulus checks, was approved by the US Senate last Saturday. Now it has to pass a final round of voting in the House before landing on Joe Biden's desk for the attention of the presidential pen. That is expected to happen this week, with the gears of the IRS and the federal coffers moving into action shortly afterwards.

Here's a quick recap of what is likely to happen now.

Biden poised for first big win

The US president is expected to sign his $1.9 trillion stimulus relief plan into law this week pending final approval in the House of Representatives- approval that will doubtless be forthcoming. The speed with which the latest package has been pushed through both chambers is a huge boost for Biden, who has enjoyed a high approval rating since he moved in to the Oval Office.

During Donald Trump's presidency, when the Senate was controlled by the Republicans and the House by Democrats, debates on stimulus aid after the initial $2.2 trillion CARES Act was passed were torturous to say the least.

Biden's swift action and ability to get Democrats pulling in the same direction over the stimulus package will do those ratings no harm and gives the president a solid platform to push through the rest of his legislative plans moving forward. 

The Senate passed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Saturday after Democrats pulled together to push Biden's flagship legislation through. The question now is how quickly can the president sign the bill into law?

Read the full story:

Ball back in House's court

After approval in the Senate, Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan is set to be handedback to the House for a final vote before being signed into law by the president. Democrats had hoped to have the bill signed and delivered before 14 March, when federal unemployment benefits were due to expire and according to Washington observers it could get the green light in the lower chamber as early as Wednesday.

 

Could Americans get more than $1,400 direct stimulus payments? 

The American Rescue Plan includes several new tax provisions that could bring millions of families more than just a one-time $1,400 direct stimulus payment. 

Read the full story:

US economy will rev up with stimulus package 

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the onset of the covid-19 pandemic and economic collapse that ensued. The US has recovered some of that lose but there still remain roughly 9 million more people out of work than before the pandemic. 

However now with vaccinations accelerating to over 2 million on average per day, the US could reach herd immunity by summer. That will allow people to finally go out more safely which in turn will help the economy to truly recover. Added to the equation is the sweeping covid-19 relief bill President Biden could sign this week. With the measures included in the bill the American economy is expected to recover twice as fast as expected.

Stimulus bill will bring additional direct payments to families with children 

With the millions of families struggling amid the pandemic, it will come as welcoming news that Biden’s bill will expand the child tax credit up to $3,600 per child. The enhanced child tax credit will run for one year (tax year 2021) and will give qualifying Americans a significant financial boost along with the $1,400 stimulus check. 

The enhancement amounts to $3,600 per child under the age of 6, and $3,000 per child aged between 6 and 17. Half of the tax credit would be paid out in direct monthly payments in 2021.  

Many Democratic lawmakers are hoping to make the child tax credit enhancements permanent in separate legislation later this year, claiming that the measure could cut child poverty by 50%. 

In addition to stimulus ARP provides health savings 

The $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill Congress is set to pass this week will include the biggest expansion of federal help for health insurance since the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. Millions of Americans could see dramatic savings on their health insurance costs from those under Obamacare to self-employed people who buy their own insurance.  

See the full story AP

Will there be more stimulus after ARP 

11 March will mark the one-year anniversary of covid-19 being declared a global pandemic. President Biden is set to speak on the pandemic in his first prime-time address the nation on Thursday. The US is now vaccinating over 2 million Americans per day and case numbers are coming down.  

Even though there is light at the end of the tunnel, with only 10 percent of the nation fully vaccinated so far there is still a long way to go. To help bring a faster end to the pandemic and the economic fallout from it, Congress is poised to pass the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill this week.  

However, with the virus mutating the question remains, will there need to be another round of pandemic relief? Pelosi says it will be up to the virus.

Biden stimulus bill set to jump last hurdle

The House prepares to give final approval to the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan this week before it can go to President Biden’s desk for signing. 

Read the full story:

House progressives onboard with stimulus bill 

The Senate made alterations to the American Rescue Plan that frustrated progressive Democrats, which could derail President Joe Biden’s first top legislative priorities as Democrats only have 5 votes to spare. However, top progressives are signaling that they will not jeopardize its passage in the House. 

On Monday, Chair of the House Progressive Caucus Rep. Pramila Jayapal said "I don't think that the changes the Senate made were good policy or good politics. However, they were relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, with the exception of course in the $15 minimum wage." She added "We take the win. We believe it's our work that made it as progressive as it is."

Stimulus bill set to head to House Floor 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer had originally predicted that the American Rescue Plan would come to the House floor for consideration on Tuesday. However the sheer size of the bill and the need to review its contents after being altered in the Senate required more time. Now that the bill is out of the Rules Committee it can proceed for final approval, now expected to begin 9 am on Wednesday. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sang the praises of the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill at a press conference upon the Rule Committee finishing its work.

Low- and middle-class to benefit the most from stimulus bill 

The American Rescue Plan passed in the Senate on Saturday could see families with children could on average receiving a $6,000 tax cut. Households making $91,000 or less would receive nearly 70 percent of the tax benefits.  

The tax provisions in the bill include expanded Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and Child and Dependent Care Credit. In addition to the $1,400 direct stimulus payments, an advance tax rebate credit, which could go out before the end of the month.

GOP intend to reintroduce Reopen Schools Act with stimulus bill 

As the Democrat-led Congress prepares to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill this week, Republicans want to tie money for reopening schools to schools physically reopening. The bill previously failed to pass in the House. 

The Reopen Schools Act would give full federal funding to schools that physically reopen during the covid-19 pandemic, and would also penalize districts that remained closed. The American Rescue Plan includes $170 billion in dedicated education funding to reduce class sizes and modify spaces to comply with CDC recommendations.

Both parties prepare to use stimulus in 2022 midterms 

Midterm elections usually see the party in power lose seats Democrats are hoping to defy conventional wisdom on the back of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill.  

Democrats feel that an opportunity was squandered in two ways with the 2009 stimulus that began the country on the road to recovery. On the one hand that they gave into GOP measures that dampened the effectiveness of stimulus package and on the other not talking up the aspects of the package that helped everyday Americans. 

Although President Biden has said that he will not put his name on the $1,400 stimulus checks, Democrats plan to make sure that the voters know who rebooted the economy and brought an end to the pandemic. Republicans on the other hand plan to focus their sights on “unrelated liberal spending”.

Popularity of stimulus high among lower-income GOP voters, no so for high-income 

Much has been touted about the popularity of the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill set to pass the House this week. Overall the bill is popular among voters left, right and center with 7 out of 10 supporting the sweeping package. However there is a nuance in support among Republican and Republican-leaning voters when broken down by income. Unsurprisingly, those who will gain the most out of the measures in the bill overwhelmingly support it. At the other end of the economic spectrum the opposite is true.

House votes on PRO Act on eve of stimulus vote 

On Tuesday, the House considers the PRO Act, a sweeping labor rights bill which Democrats say will create safer workplaces and boost employee benefits. The bill was reintroduced in the lower chamber of Congress in February, last year it passed the House but was never taken up by the Republican-led Senate. 

The bill is expected to pass the House again and this time get a hearing in the Democrat-led Senate. However, its passage in the upper chamber is unlikely as the Democrats lack the 10 GOP votes needed to push it through an evenly split Senate.  

On Wednesday, the House will revisit the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to give the lower chamber’s final approval before it can go to President Biden's desk.

There is a day of reckoning here...you can't just raise debt.

They don't want to talk about how they're going to pay for it, and now they're going to want to go do an infrastructure bill."

Rick Scott, Republican Senator, Florida

If we have high inflation, the poor families, those on fixed income, see food prices go up.

Rick Scott, continues...

What the Democrats won't tell you is they're, they're coming back with massive tax increases.

How's that going to help people?

Rick Scott, again...
JB

Biden stimulus to boost global economy

A US recovery turbocharged by President Joe Biden’s stimulus package will help power a faster than expected global economic upswing that risks leaving Europe behind, according to OECD forecasts.

The Paris-based organization said it now expects global output to rise above pre-pandemic levels by mid-2021 after major economies showed greater resilience at the end of 2020, and as evidence of vaccine efficacy grows and governments add extra demand stimulus.

It raised its world growth forecast for 2021 to 5.6% from 4.2% and more than doubled its prediction for the US to 6.5%. OECD models indicate that Biden’s measures will raise output around 3% to 4% on average in the first full year of the package.

The sharp upward revisions show the enormous uncertainty surrounding the rebound from the worst economic slump in living memory. US borrowing costs and oil prices have returned to pre-crisis levels in recent weeks, sending ripples across global markets.

Full story

White House briefing: stimulus highlights

Press Secretary Jen Psaki has now left the podium but a reminder on the key response she gave about the stimulus checks:

"We are doing everything in our power to expedite the payments and not delay them..."

Biden name not on stimulus checks

Here's the clip we mentioned from the press conference where Psaki explains where priorities should lie.

White House briefing: stimulus highlights

We are keeping an ear on what Jen Psaki is saying to the press related to the stimulus relief bill.

The latest question she was asked was around the stimulus checks and why President Biden was not going to have his name on the millions of checks soon to be issued, in the way that his predecessor Donald Trump demanded.

Her answer was simple: getting the money into the hands of the American people was important...not getting the leader's name on them.

How many stimulus jobs?

Republican Kevin Brady complained to Fox's Neil Cavuto about the White House not providing a fixed number to the jobs that are going to created from the wide-ranging stimulus package.

Clearly he will know that by not being provided a number does not mean that there will not be a number. But it's a common angle to take to try to build a separate narrative.

White House briefing: stimulus highlights

Psaki confirms that the Inland Revenue Service will use this year's 2020 tax returns to determine stimulus check eligibility for people who have filed by the deadline.

For those not covered, the IRS will use people's 2019 income i.e. that which came before the pandemic struck.

Stimulus bill update

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is currently speaking to the press and amongst the topics being covered is information on the coronavirus situation and Biden's bill.

State stimulus

Ed Perlmutter, a candidate for the 7th Congressional District, highlights that the American Rescue Plan makes a huge difference in Colorado beyond the stimulus checks and extended unemployment.

It includes huge investments for state and local governments, reopening schools, child care facilities, colleges and universities, and more.

Colorado is expected to get a $6 billion infusion from the covid-19 relief bill to help bolster state and local governments, new estimates provided to Axios show.

The bulk of the money - an estimated $4.1 billion - will go to the state with the remaining $1.8 billion distributed to local governments, according to US Sen. John Hickenlooper's office.

Stimulus relief bill and the Civil Rights Act

A little-known element of President Biden’s massive stimulus relief package would pay billions of dollars to disadvantaged farmers - benefiting Black farmers in a way that some experts say no legislation has since the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Of the $10.4 billion in the American Rescue Plan that will support agriculture, approximately half would go to disadvantaged farmers, according to estimates from the Farm Bureau, an industry organization. About a quarter of disadvantaged farmers are Black.

The money would provide debt relief as well as grants, training, education and other forms of assistance aimed at acquiring land.

The Washington Post digs deep into the lost land.

Child tax credit in stimulus bill: governent relationship

Much of the direct aid of Biden's package will temporarily benefit individuals as the nation's economy slowly begins recovering from the pandemic.

But the legislation also plants the seeds for what could be a major transformation of the nation's social safety net for the lowest-income Americans. The bill contains a one-year provision to dramatically expand the child tax credit, allowing for parents to receive up to $3,600 per child. 

Democrats aim to distribute this credit through monthly checks. Parents with children aged 5 and under could get a $300 payment per child, while those with kids between 6 and 16 could get $250 each month.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig and Hillary Hoffower look into how the relationships could change.

Stimulus relief plus vaccine rollout

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver representing Missouri's Fifth District has pointed optimistically to the report in the Times:

“The American economy will accelerate nearly twice as fast as expected this year as the coming passage of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, combined with a rapid vaccine rollout, ignites a powerful recovery from the pandemic”

Stimulus tax benefits: Biden vs Trump

The arguments, generally across party lines, have often drawn comparisons between where former president Donald Trump and current encumbent Joe Biden have put their focus.

Unsurprisingly, although that may depend on where you get your news, Trump had some significant benefits for those making a very decent living, as Sahil Kapur points out.

"An embarrassment", "a disaster" - GOP lawmaker Toomey lays into stimulus bill

Republican Senator Pat Toomey has slammed the $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill that’s to be voted on by the House on Wednesday, branding the package a "disaster".

This is an embarrassment and it’s a disaster,” he told CNBC on Tuesday. “Every big piece of it and most of the little ones. State and local government, for instance - $350bn. You realise that in 2020, state and local governments in the aggregate collected more revenue than ever before, and that’s not counting the $500bn that we sent them last year. Now we’re told we have to send them yet another $350bn […].”

“Almost half of everybody who’s unemployed will be getting paid more to stay home than they would make going to work. How does that make any sense at all? The direct payments, the $1,400, the vast majority of those are going to people who never had any lost income. Why are we doing this?

Who voted for and against the stimulus bill in the Senate?

A revised version of President Biden's American Rescue Plan is due to be put to a vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, having narrowly passed the Senate on Saturday.

Which senators voted for the $1.9tn bill?

Full details:

Watson Coleman: "I cannot ignore the immediate need for relief"

Progressive House Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman has released a statement saying she will be backing the revised version of President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill, despite her reservations over the changes made to the legislation before it was approved by the Senate.

"I’ve had to weigh the need to send a clear message to the Senate on the importance of centering the real needs of average Americans which they have failed to do over the past week with the immediate needs of struggling families in my district," Watson Coleman wrote.

"While I will continue to pressure my party to live up to its banner as the party of the people I cannot ignore the immediate need for relief."

Jeffries comments

Jeffries "110% confident" revised bill will pass the House

Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the chair of the Democratic Caucus, says he is "110% confident" the revised version of President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill will pass the lower chamber on Wednesday, even if no Republicans vote for it.

Democrats hold a very narrow majority in the House, meaning they can afford to lose only a handful of votes by their own members against the bill.

Changes made to the package before it passed the Senate - such as the narrowing of stimulus-check eligibility and the lowering of a weekly jobless-benefits boost from $400 to $300 - have caused frustration among progressive Democrats, but Jeffries said it remains a "transformational bill".

The first version of the bill passed the House without a single Republican vote, with two moderate Democrats joined GOP lawmakers in voting against that version. One of the two Democrats, Representative Kurt Schrader of Oregon, said on Monday he would now vote for the bill with the Senate changes.

"My concerns remain on the size and scope of this bill but believe the Senate changes provide meaningful relief for Oregonians in need," Schrader wrote in a post on Facebook.

(Reuters contributed to this post)

Hoyer: House to take up stimulus bill at 9am on Wednesday

Here’s more on the news that the House vote on the revised $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill will take place on Wednesday morning, rather than potentially today as had previously been suggested.

According to C-SPAN’s Craig Caplan, Hoyer has told reporters that the House will consider the American Rescue Plan, which underwent several changes in the Senate before passing the upper chamber, "tomorrow at 9am".

House to vote on stimulus bill on Wednesday morning - Hoyer

The office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says the lower chamber will hold a vote on approving the changes made to President Biden's $1.9tn stimulus bill on Wednesday morning.

The legislation passed the House in its original form at the end of February, but only made it through the Senate on Saturday after concessions were made to centrist Democrats on certain aspects of the bill.

Eligibility for the third stimulus checks was narrowed - the final phase-out limit was reduced from $100,000 to $80,000 for individuals - and a weekly unemployment-benefits supplement was lowered from $400 to $300.

In addition, a minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour was stripped from the bill passed by the House after it was ruled that the provision could not be passed under 'budgetary reconciliation' rules.

Child tax credit to cut child poverty by almost half

According to research conducted earlier this year by the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, the expanded child tax credit included in President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill stands to reduce child poverty in the US by nearly half.

The CPSP says it expects the 12-month scheme, which will give qualifying families $3,000 per child aged six to 17 and $3,600 per child under six, to bring the the poverty rate among children down from 13.6% to 7.5%.

As part of the program, eligible families will be able to claim half of their overall child tax credit in monthly payments between July and December this year.

More information on the expanded child tax credit

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:

Unemployment benefits 2020: how to claim the new tax reduction

When the covid-19 pandemic sent much of the US into lockdown, the economic consequences were dire for many American households. More people were thrown into unemployment than at any time since the Great Depression. Currently, there are 9 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic struck.

To alleviate the hardship, Congress passed the CARES Act last spring which included federal pandemic unemployment programs. Those who benefited from these programs are now contending with the fact that unemployment benefits are taxable just like regular income. Yet in many cases, their economic stability has not fully recovered, if at all, and they could be facing a sizable tax bill. An amendment to the American Rescue Plan Act passed in the Senate seeks to address this problem.

Read more:

When do unemployment benefits end?

President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan has been a long time in the making, even prior to his inauguration, and an extension to jobless benefits is a key element.

Full story:

US economy will accelerate nearly twice as fast as expected this year - OECD

The American economy will accelerate nearly twice as fast as expected this year as the coming passage of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, combined with a rapid vaccine rollout, ignites a powerful recovery from the pandemic, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Tuesday.

Biden

"Bill represents the 'core' of what Biden originally proposed"

(Reuters) - The first version of the bill passed the House without a single Republican vote. Two moderate Democrats joined Republicans in voting against that version. One of them, Representative Kurt Schrader of Oregon, said on Monday he would now vote for the bill with the Senate changes.

"My concerns remain on the size and scope of this bill but believe the Senate changes provide meaningful relief for Oregonians in need," Schrader wrote in a post on Facebook.

Republicans, who broadly supported economic relief early in the coronavirus pandemic, have criticised the price tag of the Biden relief package.

Some progressives in the House have criticized the Senate's changes. But Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters she thought members of her group would back the legislation.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki praised the legislation at a news conference on Monday, saying that while there were some changes on the margins, it represented the "core" of what Biden originally proposed.

Bill to be approved by House

The Senate, where Democrats have effective control, passed its version of the bill on Saturday after a marathon overnight session.

The upper chamber of Congress eliminated or pared back some provisions in an original House bill, including an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Now that the bill has passed the Senate, it must be approved again by the House before it can make its way to Biden's desk.

The House was still awaiting the Senate version late on Monday. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that lawmakers would "take it up Wednesday morning at the latest."

Democrats hold a very narrow majority in the House, meaning they cannot withstand many votes by their members against the bill.

US House readies final vote on Biden's $1.9 trillion covid-19 package

(Reuters) - The US House of Representatives could approve the Biden administration's $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill as early as Tuesday, with a vote allowing the Democratic president to sign the legislation into law later this week.

Approval of the package, which is one of the biggest US anti-poverty measures since the 1960s, would give Biden and the Democrats who control Congress a major legislative victory less than two months into his presidency.

"It's really just a matter of paperwork. But we are going to have a vote as soon as we can," Democratic Representative Katherine Clark, the assistant House speaker, told CNN.

What's in the American Rescue Plan?

The Senate passed its version of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Saturday, paving the way for the plan to be taken up by the House on Tuesday or Wednesday before heading to President Biden's desk for his signature.

The colossal package known as the American Rescue Plan allocates money for vaccines, schools, small businesses and anti-poverty programs such as an expanded child tax credit that would mean new monthly payments to many parents. The following areas are in Biden's plan for the US:

Direct payments, Unemployment benefits, Child tax credit, Paycheck Protection Program, Education, Support for low-income families, Public health, Industry support & Rental assistance.

bank

How can I get my stimulus payment faster?

In the previous rounds, the IRS used the information from tax filings in 2018 or 2019, whichever they had on file at the time the payments were processed. This time the agency will use the most recent filing, either 2019 or 2020. The IRS is currently processing tax returns for the 2020 fiscal year, but not everyone has filed yet.

If you file electronically the agency will be able to process your tax return faster than if it is sent by mail. Furthermore, if you use direct deposit to receive your return then your direct stimulus payment will arrive sooner. On the contrary, the agency will have to send the payment via post in the form of a paper check or pre-loaded debit card which will take longer to receive.

Who could qualify for the third stimulus check payment?

The House of Representatives is set to vote on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill on Wednesday. Should the lower chamber accept the modified legislation it would mean a third round of direct stimulus payments in less than a year. President Biden is expected to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.

Low and middle-income households would then begin seeing $1,400 payments in their bank accounts one or two weeks after Biden signs the legislation. Democrats say the third payment, in addition to the $600 in the second round, will fulfill the promise to get Americans $2,000 direct payments. 

Read more below:

Democrats approve biggest investment in native programs in US history

When Senate Democrats narrowly passed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Saturday, they also passed the US government’s largest-ever investment in Native American programs.

The bill, which is expected to pass the House and be signed into law by President Joe Biden as soon as this week, includes more than $31.2 billion for tribal governments and Native communities. The money will go directly to helping American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians focus on economic recovery in their communities devastated by the covid-19 pandemic. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Native American communities have been among the hardest hit by the virus.

Full story.

Yellen

Yellen: Covid-19 having 'extremely unfair' impact on women's income and jobs

The covid-19 pandemic has had an 'extremely unfair' impact on the income and economic opportunities of women, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday, calling for long-term measures to improve labour market conditions for women.

Yellen, in a dialogue with International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva, said it was critical to address the risk that the pandemic would leave permanent scars, reducing the prospects for women in the workplace and the economy.

She noted that women's participation in the workforce was already lower in the United States before the pandemic than in Europe, another issue that needed to be addressed.

"I think it's absolutely tragic, the impact that this crisis has had on women, especially low-skilled women and minorities," Yellen said, noting that while people at the top of the economic scale had continued to do well, those nearer the bottom, who had already been struggling, had been hardest hit.

"It is an extremely unfair thing that's happened," Yellen said, noting that women as a group had experienced far greater job losses since they had been disproportionately represented in the service sector and many had dropped out of the labour force to care for children, who were out of school.

"We're really concerned about scarring, permanent scarring, from this crisis," she said, adding her hope that President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief bill would help get the labour market back on track this year or next.

Nasdaq set to bounce back as tech stocks gain ground

(Reuters) - Major US stock indexes were headed for a higher open on Tuesday with the Nasdaq set to rebound after a steep selloff in the previous session, as US bond yields retreated and investors scooped up beaten-down technology stocks.

Tesla Inc advanced about 6%, while Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp jumped about 2% each in early trading.

Signs that a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package was closing in on final approval sparked a spike in yields on Monday, pushing the tech-heavy Nasdaq to end more than 10% below its February 12 closing high that confirmed a correction.

Pelosi

Pelosi: US House will take up Senate's $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill by Wednesday

The US House of Representatives will take up by Wednesday the Senate version of the sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package backed by President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday.

Closing in on final approval of one of the biggest US anti-poverty measures since the 1960s, Democrats aim to enact the massive legislation by Sunday when enhanced federal unemployment benefits are set to expire.

The Senate passed its version of the bill after a marathon overnight vote on Saturday. The Senate version eliminated or pared back some provisions included in the House bill, which had increased the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and extended expanded jobless assistance through Aug. 29.

Now that it has passed the Senate, it must be approved again by the House before it can make its way to Biden's desk and be signed into law.

April 15 deadline

The tax filing season began on 12 February and ends on 15 April – apart from citizens in Texas and neighbouring states who were affected by last month’s winter storms, who have been granted a two-month extension and have until 15 June to file.

Tax Return 2021 IRS delay: how long could it take and when will I be refunded?

This year, tax refund checks will be going out with more delays than in previous years. Here, we look at when you can expect yours.

This year, tax refunds will be going out with more delays than in previous years due to the processing backlog as a result of the pandemic. The tax filing season began on 12 February and ends on 15 April – apart from citizens in Texas and neighbouring states who were affected by last month’s winter storms, who have been granted a two-month extension and have until 15 June to file.

Full story:

Doubts about tax filing?

The IRS offers a FAQ section in a bid to answer any queries that filer may have before embarking on the process.

More info here

OECD Chief Economist Laurence Boone adds detail to earlier report

Earlier on Tuesday, the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) posted its interim economic outlook with  more positive outlook brightened as covid-19 vaccine rollouts speed up in some countries and the United States launches a vast new stimulus package

Secretary of Transportation highlights upside of bill

The US Secretary of Transportation Peter Buttieg outlined the positive aspects of President Biden's American Rescue Plan

Fauci

New US covid-19 cases fall 12% last week, vaccinations top 2 million a day

The United States reported a 12% decline in new cases of covid-19 last week, while vaccinations accelerated to a record 2.2 million shots per day, according to a Reuters analysis of state, county and CDC data. New infections have dropped for eight weeks in a row, averaging 60,000 new cases per day for the week ended March 7.

Deaths linked to covid-19 fell 18% last week to 11,800, the lowest since late November and averaging 1,686 per day.

Despite the positive trends, health officials have warned that the country could see a resurgence in cases as more infectious variants of the virus have been found in nearly every state.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, has urged the nation to keep most pandemic restrictions in place until new cases fall to under 10,000 per day.

No Republicans voted for the bill..... Seth Meyers investigates

Comedian and television host Seth Meyers explores the reasoning for not a single Republican senator backing the American Rescue Plan bill

Joe Biden

What is in the final version of U.S. Democrats' $1.9 trillion covid 19 aid plan? (Part III of III)

SMALL-BUSINESS AID: $48 BILLION

Targeted small-business grants would total $15 billion; $25 billion in a new grant program for restaurants; $7 billion for Paycheck Protection Program aid for non-profits and digital news services; $1 billion for theatres, independent movie theatres and cultural institutions.

HOUSING ASSISTANCE: $45 BILLION

Households would get help paying rent, mortgages and utilities and homeless people would be placed into housing. The government estimates that 12 million people owe an average of $5,800 in back rent and utilities.

FOOD AID: $12 BILLION

Increased benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would be extended through Sept. 30. Other programs also would benefit, such as the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children.

Biden

What is in the final version of U.S. Democrats' $1.9 trillion covid 19 aid plan? (Part II of III)

SCHOOLS: $170 BILLION

The bill would help reopen elementary and high schools safely and provide aid to colleges and universities that have suffered major revenue losses during the pandemic. Republicans have complained that too little of the money would be spent this year.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: $163 BILLION

Jobless people would get a new round of federal payments amounting to $300 per week through Sept. 6. The first $10,200 in benefits would not be taxed.

PUBLIC HEALTH: $109 BILLION

Expanded covid-19 testing, tracing and genomic sequencing would cost $49 billion; $35 billion to expand the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare; $11 billion for community health centres and related facilities; $8 billion to hire more public health workers, and $6 billion for the Indian Health Service.

Biden

What is in the final version of U.S. Democrats' $1.9 trillion covid 19 aid plan? (Part I of III)

President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion plan to address the human and economic toll of the covid-19 pandemic includes proposals ranging from fresh payments to households, aid for cash-strapped state and local governments, and money for schools. It is being touted by Democrats as one of the largest U.S. anti-poverty programs in decades.

Here are some major elements of the legislation. The Senate revised a bill passed by the House of Representatives, which is expected to sign off this week on the latest version:

DIRECT PAYMENTS: $400 BILLION

The package called the "American Rescue Plan" proposes a new round of payments to Americans of $1,400 per person. The final version of the bill would provide payments to individual taxpayers earning less than $80,000 annually and couples making less than $160,000.

AID TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: $350 BILLION

One of the most contentious elements of the package would provide funding to cash-strapped state and local governments to help them cope with added costs for first responders, vaccine distribution and other expenses at a time when some of their revenues are falling. Republicans contend that many of the states do not need the need. The bill aims to give smaller local governments more access to funds than previous measures.

CHILDCARE: $56 BILLION

About $55 billion would be spent on childcare programs and $1 billion for the early learning Head Start program. In addition, a child tax credit would be expanded, resulting in a revenue loss of about $109 billion.

vaccine

After year of isolation, vaccinated older Americans start to reclaim their lives

Across the United States, covid-19 vaccinations are changing seniors' daily lives in ways large and small a year after the pandemic drove many in the high-risk group into forced isolation. Older Americans are again visiting family members, eating at their favorite restaurants and shopping in stores without fear of death or hospitalization.

The emergence of new, potentially more virulent variants of the coronavirus is causing some inoculated seniors to return to their routines with caution, however. And the weight of so many deaths among their peers, plus the psychological burden that accompanied months of quarantine, will not dissipate overnight.

This week, Linda Dobrusin, 80, will welcome three friends – all of whom have also been vaccinated – into her home in Southfield, Michigan, to restart a weekly card game of canasta on hold since last spring. The occasion is bittersweet for Dobrusin, who lost a lifelong friend to covid-19 last year. The pandemic made a proper funeral impossible, so she watched the small graveside service via video.

"It's hard to believe it's been a year, and yet it feels like forever," Dobrusin said.

Ailing aviation sector to benefit from latest round of stimulus

23 billion dollars of the entire American Rescue Plan will be aimed at boosting the fortunes of the crippled aviation industry.

Full report via Airways Magazine

US economy set to grow in 2021 and 2022

The US economy would grow 6.5% this year and 4.0% next year, the OECD said, ramping up its forecasts from expectations in December for 3.2% in 2021 and 3.5% in 2022.

The OECD estimated the package, which includes $400 billion in one-time payments of $1,400 to many Americans, would boost U.S. output by around 3% to 4% on average in its first full year.

With public money flooding into the world's biggest economy, the package could lead to the creation of up to 3 million U.S. jobs by the end of the year but could also increase inflation by 0.75 percentage points per year on average in the first two years.

Meanwhile, the stimulus would be a boon for the United States' major trading partners, boosting growth by 0.5-1 percentage points in Canada and Mexico, and between 0.25-0.5 in euro area and China, the OECD said.

Democrats face fresh headaches after relief bill win

Democrats are facing looming challenges as they plot their next legislative step, threatening to cut short a victory lap over the relief bill.

Via The Hill

vaccine

Vaccine rollout, U.S. stimulus boost global economic outlook - OECD

The global economic outlook has brightened as covid-19 vaccine rollouts speed up in some countries and the United States launches a vast new stimulus package, the OECD said on Tuesday, hiking its forecasts.

The world economy is set to rebound this year with 5.6% growth and expand 4.0% next year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said in its interim economic outlook.

That marked a sharp increase from its last outlook in early December, when the Paris-based policy forum forecast global growth of 4.2% this year and 3.7% next year.

But significant risks loom over the improved outlook, notably in the form of how fast authorities get vaccine shots to people, how soon restrictions are lifted and whether new variants of the coronavirus are kept in check.

"Not vaccinating fast enough risks undermining the fiscal stimulus that has been put in place," OECD chief economist Laurence Boone told an online news conference.

Singling out Europe for its slow rollout, she said government money injected into the economy risked ending up in consumers' savings if they cannot soon return to more normal lives.

Global gross domestic product was seen returning to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of this year, albeit with large divergences between countries. "The pace of vaccinations is not fast enough to consolidate the recovery, we need to go much faster and we need to do much better," Boone said.

While the vaccine rollout would give a shot in the arm to the global economy, the United States' planned $1.9 trillion stimulus package would cascade down to other countries, adding more than a percentage point to global growth.

Senator Bob Casey: "payments will go out in very short order"

Democrats in Congress, including Senator Bob Casey (Pennsylvania), were optimistic about a speedy payment upon the bill being passed and signed off by US President Joe Biden. Payments will go out "in very short order," Casey said. "The Treasury Department is prepared for this. They've been dealing with this issue since last March."

15 April deadline for IRS tax filing

The tax filing campaign commenced on 12 February with the IRS reminding filers that they have just over a month to submit the relevant paper-work for the 2020 tax campaign.

OECD increases global growth forecast

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the international financial organistaion, has increased its global growth forecast triggered by the global vaccine roll-out and the impending passing of President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan bill

Yellen's hopes for economic recovery

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen hopes that the US economy can avoid the decade-long gap seen before the labour market recovered after the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.

In the longer-term, Yellen said it was critical to improve the conditions facing women in the labor market, including lack of benefits, paid leave for family emergencies and child care. "These are things that we are going to address over time,"she said.

Poorest Americans set to benefit from American Rescue Plan

The poorest 20% of Americans will likely see a 20% income boost thanks to Biden's stimulus plan, per new analysis.

Full report via The Insider

Schumer too states that 'help is on the way'

The Senate Majority Leader and firm advocator of Biden's American Rescue Plan lent his support to restaurant owners in his native New York.

Yellen

Yellen claims covid-19 having 'extremely unfair' impact on women's income and jobs

The covid-19 pandemic has had an 'extremely unfair' impact on the income and economic opportunities of women, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Monday, calling for long-term measures to improve labour market conditions for women.

Yellen, in a dialogue with International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva, said it was critical to address the risk that the pandemic would leave permanent scars, reducing the prospects for women in the workplace and the economy.

She noted that women's participation in the workforce was already lower in the United States before the pandemic than in Europe, another issue that needed to be addressed.

"I think it's absolutely tragic, the impact that this crisis has had on women, especially low-skilled women and minorities,"

Yellen said, noting that while people at the top of the economic scale had continued to do well, those nearer the bottom, who had already been struggling, had been hardest hit.

"It is an extremely unfair thing that's happened," Yellen said, noting that women as a group had experienced far greater job losses since they had been disproportionately represented in the service sector and many had dropped out of the labour force to care for children, who were out of school.

"We're really concerned about scarring, permanent scarring, from this crisis," she said, adding her hope that President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief bill would help get the labour market back on track this year or next.

Dow Jones

Dow advance as stimulus bill nears finish line

The Dow climbed on Monday, led by stocks poised to benefit the most from an economic rebound as the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill awaited a final Congressional vote this week, and heavyweight tech-related stocks swung between gains and losses.

After the legislation won U.S. Senate approval on Saturday, President Joe Biden said he hoped for a quick passage of the revised coronavirus relief package by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives so he could sign it and send $1,400 direct payments to Americans.

Prospects of more government spending and faster economic growth have stoked fears of a spike in inflation, sending the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield to near one-year highs.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, however, said on Monday the package would fuel a "very strong" U.S. recovery and she did not expect the economy to run too hot because of the increased spending.

Biden stimulus bill set to boost global recovery

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development stated on Tuesday that the Joe Biden backed American Rescue Plan will boost the global economic panorama after the covid pandemic setback.

Full story via FT here

United

Struggling travel industry urges Biden to back covid health credentials

Major US aviation, travel and aerospace groups on Monday joined airline unions in urging the Biden administration to help establish temporary covid-19 health credentials to boost travel, which has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to the White House covid19 recovery coordinator Jeff Zients, trade group Airlines for America, the US Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Travel Association and 24 other groups urged the administration to work with industry to "quickly develop uniform, targeted federal guidance for temporary covid-19 health credentials (CHC) covering both tests and vaccinations."

The groups also said "covid-19 vaccines should not be a requirement for domestic or international travel." The World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization "are working closely to identify the necessary information that would be contained in a medical record and a travel document," the letter noted, asking the administration "to proactively develop a roadmap for the rollout of recommended travel documentations and build a system supporting CHCs that verify both testing and vaccination records."

Third stimulus check: what's the last step after relief bill passed by Senate?

'Disgusted' Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman

On Friday, as the Senate vote was still under way, House Democratic lawmaker Bonnie Watson Coleman said she was "disgusted" by some of the changes in the Senate bill and questioned if she could support it. A spokesman for her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Representative Pramila Jayapal, head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters she thought members of the group would back the legislation, which she described as "phenomenal" and in keeping with most of its members' priorities.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki praised the legislation at a news conference, saying that while there were some changes on the margins, it represented the "core" of what Biden originally proposed.

Representative Kurt Schrader to vote for new bill

The first version of the bill passed in the House without a single Republican vote. Two moderate Democrats joined Republicans in voting against that version. One of them, Representative Kurt Schrader of Oregon, said on Monday he would now vote for the bill with the Senate changes.

"My concerns remain on the size and scope of this bill but believe the Senate changes provide meaningful relief for Oregonians in need," Schrader wrote on Facebook.

"Funding for our local governments, small businesses, schools, families, healthcare providers and an extension on unemployment benefits will be a lifeline for many," he said of the legislation.

Republicans, who broadly supported coronavirus relief early in the pandemic, have criticized the price tag of the Biden relief package.

IRS offers smart phone filing tips

The IRS suggests free file as an alternative for citizens without computer access

Pelosi

US House will take up Senate's $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill by Wednesday -Pelosi

The U.S. House of Representatives will take up by Wednesday the Senate version of the sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package backed by President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday.

Closing in on final approval of one of the biggest US anti-poverty measures since the 1960s, Democrats aim to enact the massive legislation by Sunday, when enhanced federal unemployment benefits are set to expire.

The Senate passed its version of the bill after a marathon overnight vote on Saturday. The Senate version eliminated or pared back some provisions included in the House bill, which had increased the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and extended expanded jobless assistance through Aug. 29.

Now that it has passed the Senate, it must be approved again by the House before it can make its way to Biden's desk and be signed into law.

IRS

Child tax credit complexity

The bill also includes an expanded child tax credit of up to $3,000 per child, or $3,600 for each individual under the age of six.

The IRS will pay part of this in monthly instalments of $250 or $300 from July through December, adding a benefits distributor role to the revenue collection agency's responsibilities.

The IRS, which has more than 70,000 employees, handles over 190 million individual and corporate tax returns a year, but it has been hobbled by budget cuts and obsolete technology in recent years. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, as the covid-19 relief package is called, includes $1.46 billion for the agency, which is running into its busiest season, as the April 15 deadline for individual taxpayers approaches.

A U.S. Treasury spokeswoman said the Biden administration's priority was to speed relief to Americans, adding: "Treasury stands ready to implement the direct payment check program as soon as the American Rescue Plan is passed."

Majority of US citizens support Biden plan

Posting via social media, Nancy Pelosi echoed a survey suggested that over 70% of Americans supported President Biden's American Rescue Plan

Stimulus check

Stimulus checks set to be administered quickly

With plenty of practice sending out coronavirus relief payments, the US government should be able to start delivering $1,400 checks almost immediately once Congress finalizes a new aid bill and President Joe Biden signs it, tax experts say.

Some Americans might receive direct payments as soon as this week if the House of Representatives, as expected, passes the $1.9 trillion bill on Tuesday, compared with the lag of several weeks experienced in April 2020. Nearly 160 million households are expected to get payments, the White House estimates.

The Treasury Department's Internal Revenue Service will have new challenges on its hands, though, thanks to the relief bill, which Biden and his fellow Democrats argue is needed to stem the continuing economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Incarcerated people, those with non-citizen spouses and relatives of those who died in 2020 will be eligible to receive payments.

Unemployment benefits 2020: how to claim the new tax reduction

The $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill passed by the Senate includes a provision to make $10,200 of unemployment benefits tax exempt on 2020 tax returns.

Dollar

Dollar reaches three month high as stimulus bill reaches conclusion

The dollar held near a 3 1/2-month high against its rivals on Tuesday as higher bond yields and expectations of faster economic normalisation from the pandemic in the United States put the U.S. currency at an advantage.

The dollar's index against six major currencies rose 0.1% to 92.469, its highest since late November, building on a 0.5% gain on Monday.

"The thing that markets are going to get from the FOMC that's new is an update to their forecasts for inflation, economic growth and unemployment," said Commonwealth Bank of Australia currency analyst Joseph Capurso.

"They're going to have do some upgrades if they have already taken into account the almost certain passage of the ($1.9 trillion) stimulus package. If they haven't taken that into account because it's not law yet, then they won't do the upgrades and that might give markets a little bit of a shock."

Third stimulus check: who could qualify for the third payment?

The House prepares to approve the changes to the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill, which includes lower limits for eligibility to $1400 stimulus checks.

Tax Return 2021 IRS delay: how long could it take and when will I be refunded?

This year, tax refund checks will be going out with more delays than in previous years. Here, we look at when you can expect yours.

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

Last Saturday,  the Senate passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan with with a narrow 50-49 vote. The bill must now go back to the House before it is ready for President Joe Biden to sign and according to Nancy Pelosi, the matter will go before the House on Wednesday (10 March).

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