Third stimulus check news summary: 11 March 2021

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Third stimulus check updates today: Biden signs, how much, when to expect, who qualifies for $1,400 payment | Live

Relief bill and stimulus check live updates

Headlines:

- President Biden signs into law American Rescue Plan a day ahead of schedule (full story)

- White House press secretary Jen Psaki says first stimulus checks will arrive "as early as this weekend

- Biden outlines plan to reopen America by 4 July in White House address

- Biden administration prepares nationwide tour to sell the benefits of the bill to the American people

- Bill includes $1,400 stimulus checks for individuals earning up to $75,000 and married couples up to $150,000, with smaller amounts available to those with an annual income below $80,000/$160,000 (when will payments begin?)

- Stimulus payments could start being sent out within days of Biden signing the bill

- US stimulus package will add one percentage point to global growth, says OECD

- House of Representatives passed the $1.9tn stimulus bill on Wednesday on a nearly party line vote 220-211

- American Airlines announce 13,000 staff will not be placed on furlough after stimulus bill passes the House

- US and world markets rally after bill approval

- Biden declines to add name to "memo line" on stimulus checks as Donald Trump did

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

- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 29.15 million/529,377 (live updates)

"This nation has suffered too much for much too long. Everything in this package is designed to relieve the suffering and to meet the most urgent needs of the nation and put us in a better position to prevail."

President Joe Biden, after signing the American Rescue Plan into law on Thursday

Who is Jared Golden, the only Democrat who voted against the stimulus bill?

The House passed the amended American Rescue Plan on Wednesday along nearly party lines, with one sole Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden, voting with Republicans.

What are the new eligibility requirements for the third stimulus check?

The third stimulus check was officially confirmed earlier today as President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law. The latest direct payments from the federal government were promised by the Democrats in the build up to the Georgia Senate runoff races in early January but congressional wrangling in Washington has prevented the bill being passed until now.

In the course of those negotiations some elements of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package were altered to ensure the bill had enough votes to be passed. There were changes made to the unemployment benefits provisions, multi-billion dollar projects were scrapped and the income threshold for the long-awaited stimulus checks was altered.

Read more:

How many Americans have claimed unemployment benefits this month?

Stimulus checks are not the only form of much-needed financial support in the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion package has also extended the federal additional unemployment benefits until the end of September. This will come as a great relief for the millions who receive the support as the existing provision was due to expire on 14 March. 

Read more:

Stimulus checks referred to in White House speech

Hours after signing the new stimulus bill into law, President Joe Biden gave a White Hosue address on the one-year anniversary of the US' first pandemic-enforced lockdown. Biden began by paying respect to the 527,000 Americans who have lost their lives to covid-19 and outlined his plan to get society closer to normality by Independence Day, 4 July. 

The improved vaccine rollout played a key part in the plan but Biden was also keen to point out the good that the stimulus checks and child tax credits will do to ease the financial burden that millions are feeling. The $1,400 stimulus checks are expected to begin distribution this weekend. 

Stimulus bill will aid vaccine rollout

"By July the 4th there is a good chance that you, your family and friends will be able get together in your back yard or your neighbourhood and have a barbeque or a cook-out. 

"After a hard year this would make this year's Independence Day something really special... But to get there we can't let our guard down."

President Joe Biden, White House address to the nation

Biden announces new vaccine website to streamline distribution process

President Biden outlines the positive impact that his administration has had on the vaccine rollout and announces that he expects all adults to be eligible for the vaccine by 1 May. This process will be aided by a new website to organise the national effort. 

He also said that he will reach his pre-election goal of 100 million vaccine shots by his 60th day in office, comfortably beating his target of 100 days. The daily number of shots is scheduled to exceed 2 million per day in the coming week, a global high. 

"We'll have enough vaccine supply for all adults in America by the end of May, that's months ahead of schedule.

"We've made it possible for you to get a vaccine in any one of ten thousand pharmacies across the nation."

President Joe Biden, White House address to the nation

Biden begins his White House speech by paying respect to the 527,000 Americans who have died because of covid-19

President Biden's White House speech will begin shortly

Fresh from signing the American Rescue Plan into law, President Joe Biden will address the nation to outline his administrations plans for the ongoing covid-19 response and a potential roadmap towards normality. The NEw York Times have reported that Biden will set a target of 4 July to get US society "closer to normal". 

Biden to outline return to normality in White House speech

We're now less than 20 minutes away from the first White House speech of Joe Biden's presidency and he is expected to outline his plan to lead America out of the pandemic and 'closer to normal'. AP's White House correspondent Jon Lemire believes the target date could be 4 July. 

The speech comes just hours after Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, the massive legislative package that aims to tackle both the public health and economic crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The $1,400 stimulus checks have finally been agreed, great funding for the vaccine rollout is on the way and Biden is expected to strike more optimistic tone than previous public addresses. 

Can I get a third stimulus money if I get unemployment benefits?

The American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Joe Biden will extend unemployment benefits and get millions of Americans a $1,400 stimulus check. Those two features will help prop up household finances, one in the short term and the other through to Labor Day.

The White House has said that the first wave of $1,400 stimulus checks will begin appearing in American's bank accounts as soon as this weekend. Workers who are jobless can now expect unemployment benefits to continue through to early September, a considerable extension on the previous deadline of 14 March.

Read more:

 

"This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving people in this nation, working people, middle class folks, people who built the country, a fighting chance.

"That's what the essence of it is."

President Joe Biden, Signing of the American Rescue Plan

Biden to give White House speech after passing stimulus check legislation

Earlier today President Biden passed the American Rescue Plan, the covid-19 relief package that provides $1,400 stimulus checks to eligible Americans. The occasion, which also comes exactly a year since the US first entered lockdown, will be marked with Biden's first prime time speech as president

He is expected to give an update on the stimulus check distribution and will reportedly direct states to make all adult Americans able to recieve a covid-19 vaccine by 1 May. The speech is scheduled for 8pm Eastern Time. 

How will the new stimulus check payments be sent?

The $1,400 direct payments included in the new sitmulus bill are the largest to date and the Biden administration is eager to begin distribution as soon as possible. To get the stimulus check money out quickly the IRS will utilise a variety of payment methods to ensure that everyone can be reached.

Most stimulus checks will be sent in the form of a direct deposit paid into a bank account; but millions will get theirs as either a physical check or pre-loaded onto an Economic Impact Payment debit card sent to their home address. This afternoon White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that the first stimulus checks will be sent out this weekend. 

Read more:

How far will stimulus checks go to cover rent? 

Millions of Americans have fallen behind on rent and utilities. Using data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides estimates for median rent by county each fiscal year, the Washington Post gives a graphic view of just how far the $1,400 per person direct stimulus payments will go toward covering rent.

McConnel continues assault on stimulus bill 

Speaking Thursday on the floor of the Senate hours before Biden speaks about the coronavirus pandemic and the path forward in the first prime-time address of his presidency, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced the American Rescue Plan.

McConnell called the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill passed through Congress along party-line votes "a multitrillion-dollar Trojan horse." He accused the Democrats of wanting "to sprint in front of the parade and claim credit" for this year's likely economic comeback.

Stimulus bill helps families with children 

Now that Biden has signed the American Rescue Plan, families can begin look forward to a tax provision in the bill. New changes to the Child Tax Credit may provide families with monthly payments worth up to $250 per child (and $300 per child under 6) as soon as the summer, the bill calls for the payments to start in July.  

If you already filed your tax return, you won’t need to redo the process again, the provision is for the 2021 fiscal year. The IRS has a lot on its plate these days, with sending out $1,400 stimulus checks, processing 2020 tax returns and updating for the new tax provisions. So, depending on when you file, the due date is 15 April, the agency will use your 2019 or 2020 tax return information to determine eligibility.

With the stroke of a pen Biden enacts stimulus bill

President Joe Biden has signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill ahead of schedule, releasing the federal funding for unemployment support, vaccination roll-out and the $1,400 stimulus checks.

Read the full story:

Dems will push for minimum wage hike left dropped from stimulus bill 

On Thursday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi committed to new legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour after the wage hike provision was stripped from the American Rescue Plan. The House previously passed the $15 minimum wage as part of its version of the $1.9 trillion covid-19 bill. But when the bill was sent over to the Senate, the provision was dropped due to a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian. 

"We will persist with the minimum wage," Pelosi told reporters Thursday during a news conference.

Check whether you qualify for provisions of the American Rescue Plan 

The American Rescue Plan is a sprawling $1.9 trillion bill with a slew of provisions to help Americans. The White House has provided an interactive guide to how the ARP can benefit you.

Stimulus checks as soon as this weekend 

Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, announced on Thursday after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan that some Americans can expect to see the $1,400 direct stimulus payments as soon as this weekend. Biden received the bill last night and decided not to waste any time in signing the legislation, he originally was to sign the bill on Friday. He will have a formal signing ceremony with congressional leaders on Friday.

How to find out if you’ll get a third stimulus check 

Congress has passed the American Rescue Plan; millions can expect a direct stimulus payment in the near future. Here’s how to know if you’ll get one. 

Read the full story:

Watch: Biden signs American Rescue Plan

Biden to sign stimulus bill a day early 

President Joe Biden will sign the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan on Thursday afternoon. Biden was originally going to sign the bill on Friday, but will do so ahead of his first primetime address to the nation at 8 pm ET.  

"The enrolled bill arrived last night -- so @POTUS is signing it today -- we want to move as fast as possible.  We will hold our celebration of the signing on Friday, as planned, with Congressional leaders!" White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain tweeted. 

Mindful of hard lessons learned by the previous Democratic administration, President Joe Biden and top aides are planning a nationwide tour to sell Americans on the benefits of the newly passed $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill. 

Bill Pascrell wants to remind Americans who voted for the stimulus bill 

In order to not slow down the distribution of the $1,400 stimulus checks in the American Rescue Plan, Biden will not have his name put on the direct stimulus payments. “This is not about him, this is about the American people getting relief,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. The next round of paper checks will bear the signature of a career official at the Treasury Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service Psaki told reporters.

Representative Bill Pascrell from New Jersey on the other hand isn’t as humble. 

“This life-changing, life-saving legislation marks a turning point in our nation’s fight against covid-19.”

Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY), chairman of the House Budget Committee, on Congress passing President Biden's $1.9tn stimulus bill.

Unemployment benefits 2020: how to claim the new tax reduction

President Biden's $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill includes a provision to make $10,200 of unemployment benefits tax exempt on 2020 tax returns.

Full details:

White House expects IRS to start issuing stimulus checks in March

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this week that most qualifying Americans can expect to receive their stimulus check "by the end of month".

Full report:

$1.9tn stimulus bill "just what America needs" - Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has described President Joe Biden’s $1.9tn stimulus package as "just what America needs" and "just what America wants", and has urged Republican lawmakers - who in their entirety voted against the legislation - to "join us in the next one".

"This is just what America needs," Schumer told ABC’s The View on Thursday. "80% of Americans will get a check for $1,400, [if] you’re a family of four you get $5,600. That is help that people need. So many people can’t feed their kids or might be kicked out of their homes, and even those who are not that way - more costs for transportation, or if you have a kid in college or schooling. So the $1,400 matters. Help is on the way.

"The vaccines: they’re going to come much quicker and much more widespread than people ever thought. It is not thought that maybe even as early as June we’ll have enough people vaccinated that we can go back to life as normal. Who wouldn’t want that? Opening up the schools - opening them up quickly but safely, so people and teachers don’t get sick? That’s happening.

"And here’s something I’m particularly proud of: because we doubled the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit, half the children in poverty in America will not be in poverty. When you’re a child born into poverty, no fault of your own, you don’t get adequate nutrition, you don’t get adequate housing, you don’t get adequate healthcare, you don’t get adequate education… and then when you’re 18, you’re really, really not able to lead a good, productive life.

"It is more effective and actually cheaper, as well as humane, to invest now - and we’re doing it. So this bill has so many good things. So many good things. And it’s geared to what America needs. So I say to my Republican colleagues: you didn’t join us in this one even though it’s just what America wants, even though 75% of America is for this bill - by the way, close to a majority of Republican voters are for this bill - please join us in the next one."

Pelosi: "Republicans vote no and take the dough"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has hit out at Republican lawmakers who are now touting the benefits of President Joe Biden’s covid-19 aid bill after voting against the legislation.

The bill, which is to be signed by Biden on Friday following its approval by Congress, did not get a single GOP vote in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Pelosi described the $1.9tn aid package as "just remarkable".

"The Biden plan will make an immediate difference in people’s lives, injecting vaccine into their arms, money into their pockets, children going back into school safely and people going to work safely, so it’s just remarkable," she said. "It’s remarkable legislation.

"Unfortunately, Republicans, as I say, vote no and take the dough. You see already some of them claiming oh, this is a good thing or that’s a good thing, but they couldn’t give it a vote."

Dems out to make expanded child tax credit permanent

Democrats are aiming to make the new, expanded child tax credit a permanent measure that would, in the words of Bloomberg’s Anna Edgerton, “be like a universal basic income for families with children”.

As part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill, which has now been approved by Congress, qualifying families will be able to claim a 12-month tax credit that gives them up to $3,000 per child aged between six and 17, and up to $3,600 per child under six.

Bill provisions such as this and a round of $1,400 stimulus checks will help to cut child poverty in the US by around half, and overall poverty by about a third, research by the Urban Institute has shown.

A permanently expanded child tax credit is "something that Democrats have said would help inequality, would help child poverty, would really lift up the bottom half of America," Edgerton explains.

"We’re seeing diversions between the people who were already doing well in this country doing even better after the pandemic, [and] people who were already struggling [and now] are in even worse shape.

"This is one of those provisions that Democrats say could really target the lower half and even out some of the inequality that has gotten worse during the pandemic."

"The only other Bill 70% of Americans support is Murray"

HuffPost has put together this collection of how some of the most prominent comedians on US television have reacted to Congress passing President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, which includes a round of stimulus checks of up to $1,400.

"The legislation is a misnomer; it is neither a Covid nor a relief bill"

In an opinion piece published in Politico today, the writer Rich Lowry, who is the editor of the conservative magazine National Review, has questioned the spending in the $1.9tn stimulus package passed by Congress, claiming the legislation does not reflect the US’ current economic situation.

"With his other priorities likely to grind to a halt in the Senate, the spending will probably stand as a signature statement of Biden’s approach to governance—and it should be a damning one," Lowry writes.

"The legislation is a misnomer; it is neither a Covid nor a relief bill.

"Only a tiny portion of the spending in the bill goes toward vaccinations and other priories directly related to the pandemic.
Much of the rest of the spending is not well-suited, or even designed, to respond to current economic conditions, which are increasingly favorable.

"Democrats are telling themselves that it’s like 1933, when we were in the midst of a depression, whereas it’s more like 1983, when we were coming out of a punishing recession.

"Or to put it another way, the Biden bill is reacting to the wrong spring. It is no longer the cataclysmic spring of 2020, with the economy shuttered and nothing to fight the virus except social distancing and masks, but the much more hopeful spring of 2021, with the economy opening back up, Covid cases steeply declining and vaccinations ramping up massively."

Rich Lowry's Politico opinion piece in full

Americans set for $1,400 direct payments - and more

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

Full details:

First-time unemployment insurance claims fall in first week of March

There were 712,000 initial unemployment-insurance claims in the United States in the first week of March, the US Labor Department revealed on Thursday morning.

This represents a 42,000 drop from the previous week, but remains well above pre-pandemic levels.

What's more, the figure does not include the nearly 500,000 people who applied for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, a scheme set up for workers, such as the self-employed, who do not qualify for regular jobless benefits.

Stimulus bill an example of "why the aliens won't talk to us" - Sen. Kennedy

John Kennedy, a Republican senator from Louisiana, has blasted the $1.9tn spend in the coronavirus stimulus bill passed by Congress this week, telling reporters that extraterrestrials observing humanity would conclude that Americans are "like a rock only dumber".

Kennedy was particularly critical of the $350bn in funding for state and local governments included in the bill, which got no votes from GOP lawmakers in either the House or the Senate.

"This is a perfect example of why… it’s why the aliens won’t talk to us," Kennedy said. "Folks up there must think the American people are like a rock only dumber. They see through all this.

"This isn’t about the coronavirus; this is about Democrats don’t believe that deficits matter anymore. They’ve got control, so they’re going to spend as much money as they can."

Kennedy added: "How long do you think your family would last if every month you spent more and more on the credit card and made the minimum payment? Not long. If you believe that deficits matter, then how can you give bucketloads of money to states that haven’t seen their revenues decline?"

Expanded child tax credit: full details

Here's the full lowdown on the expanded child tax credit, which was this week passed as part of President Biden's $1.9tn American Rescue Plan:

Deese hails stimulus bill's "historic" impact on child poverty

Brian Deese, the director of the White House National Economic Council, has hailed the "historic" impact President Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus aid package will have in reducing child poverty in the US.

As well as including a round of stimulus checks of up to $1,400 for qualifying Americans, the bill features a year-long, expanded child tax credit that will see eligible families receive $3,000 per child aged six to 17, and $3,600 per child under six.

Research by the Urban Institute has shown that such stimulus measures promise to reduce child poverty in the US by around a half, and overall poverty by about a third.

"We are going to be able to accelerate the national vaccination campaign, we’re going to be able to provide the resources finally so schools can accelerate their reopening, and we targeted the relief in this package to the people who needed it most," Deese told CNN on Thursday. "And the people who needed it most are working families who are struggling to make ends meet."

He continued: "A big part of this bill has always been how can we direct relief, and if you look at the provisions of this bill the direct payments go to 85% of households, the expansion of the child tax credit is a historic step to try to target relief to families with children, the earned income tax credit goes to workers without children, many of whom are the essential workers - grocery store workers, truck drivers - who have been out providing services during this past year, this challenging year for our country.

"Those are measures that we think make a lot of sense as a way of directing emergency relief and are also going to achieve historic things. This bill will cut child poverty in half this year, and I think that that’s an important goal that we can achieve while also pulling our economy out of this crisis."

How to claim first/second stimulus check in your 2020 tax return

If your stimulus check was a no-show in either of the first two rounds of direct payments, you can file a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return.

Full details:

GOP senator lauds impact of bill he voted against

Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi took to social media on Wednesday to hail the positive impact the $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill will have on restaurants in the state - despite the fact that Wicker, a Republican, joined every other GOP lawmaker in Congress in voting against the legislation.

"Independent restaurant operators have won $28.6 billion worth of targeted relief," Wicker tweeted after House Democrats on Wednesday passed the bill, which got through the Senate at the weekend. "This funding will ensure small businesses can survive the pandemic by helping to adapt their operations and keep their employees on the payroll."

Twitter users' responses to Wicker's post include:

- "Oh no, you don’t get to take credit for this. You voted no."

- "You’re taking credit for something you voted against?"

- "You voted to stop that money from making it to the restaurants. Shameful".

Unemployment benefits boost in $1.9tn stimulus bill - the lowdown

A closer look at the $300-per-week unemployment-insurance boost that has been included in the coronavirus stimulus package passed by Congress this week:

"The best day of my career" - Sen. Sherrod Brown hails new stimulus bill

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown says President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief bill compares in significance to President Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s, calling Wednesday’s approval of the $1.9tn stimulus package "the best day of my career".

Brown was also keen to stress that despite the bill’s failure to gain any support from Republicans in Congress, polls have shown that does have bipartisan backing among the American people.

“This is so popular - I mean it is a bipartisan bill,” he told MSNBC. “The only people against it are Republican senators and Republican House members. Their voters aren’t against it. The public’s not against it.

"This is not just the best day of my career in terms of what we deliver for the people, but also sometimes you vote for things like the ACA [Affordable Care Act] that wasn’t particularly popular but you knew it was the right thing. This one’s easy, because it’s so popular and it’s so much the right thing and Biden’s had this huge victory because [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer and [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi held everybody together, because we all had our eye on the fact that this was going to make the country better.

"And I would even go further and say if you take out civil rights in ’64 and voting rights in ’65, open housing in ’68 and the Affordable Care Act of seven or eight years ago, this is the biggest thing we’ve done since FDR, since the New Deal […].

"In ’32, ’34 and ’36, Roosevelt one three elections in a row and changed the country for decades. We can do the same thing here. People now understand that the way to build democracy is make it work for everybody, and that’s what we’re doing now. This going to make people’s lives better and people are going to recognize that, and we’re going to see a very different government where people understand government actually is on their side and will make it work."

McConnell: Stimulus bill "one of the worst pieces of legislation I've seen"

As Democrats look to promote the benefits of their $1.9tn stimulus bill to the American people, Republicans are busy doing the opposite, after not a single GOP lawmaker backed the package in either the House or the Senate.

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters: "I think this is actually one of the worst pieces of legislation I’ve seen pass here in the time I’ve been in the Senate.

"We believe that the American people need to learn more about it and we’re going to see that they do that in the coming months".

"Barack was so modest, he didn’t want to take, as he said, a 'victory lap'. I kept saying, 'Tell people what we did.' He said, 'We don’t have time. I’m not going to take a victory lap.' And we paid a price for it, ironically, for that humility."

US President Joe Biden, on Democrats' failure to sufficiently promote the benefits of a major stimulus package passed under the Obama administration in 2009.
Biden

Biden plans nationwide tour to promote benefits of stimulus bill

Mindful of hard lessons learned by the previous Democratic administration, President Joe Biden and top aides are planning a nationwide tour to sell Americans on the benefits of the newly passed $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill.

Biden will launch the effort with a White House ceremony on Friday to sign the bill.

His administration then plans to take its sales pitch on the road, with the president then visiting Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Vice-President Kamala Harris heading to the Western United States, for stops in California, Colorado and Nevada on Monday and Tuesday, White House officials said.

The bill will send $1,400 checks to millions of households, extend unemployment benefits and put billions of dollars into state budgets and industries amid a pandemic that has killed over 526,000 Americans and put millions out of work - but Biden is not taking the legislation's immediate popularity for granted, especially after what befell former Democratic President Barack Obama, he served as vice-president.

In 2009, Obama spent little time promoting a more than $800bn stimulus program he and fellow Democrats pushed through Congress to rescue the US economy after he inherited a deep recession from Republican predecessor George W Bush.

The measure included stimulus checks, tax cuts and other support for businesses, workers and the unemployed - but Republicans, who had almost unanimously opposed the measure, went on to capture the House in 2010, narrow Democrats' lead in the Senate and torpedo most Obama policies.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, a veteran of the Obama administration, told reporters on Wednesday: "We didn’t do enough to explain to the American people what the benefits were" in 2009.

Joshua Karp, a Democratic strategist who most recently worked on Jaime Harrison's unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in South Carolina, said it was important for Democrats to "go out and tell people about what this bill does and who this bill helps".

(Reuters; photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo)

Stimulus bill can be "turning point" - Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has told an interview with NBC News that the approval of President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus package can be a "turning point" in US politics.

"It does so much good for so many people," Schumer said. "And one of our missions is to show people that government can actually make their lives better. That's very, very important because if they are not able to see that, they turned to demagogues, they turned to autocrats, they turned to bigotry — Donald Trump.

"This legislation has some things that are immediately going to show people that government made a difference — by having a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House."

"This is a momentous day in the history of our country because we have passed historic, consequential and transformative legislation […] the most consequential legislation that many of us will ever be a party to. Who knows what the future may bring, but nonetheless, On this day we celebrate, because we are honoring a promise made by our president, as we joined with him in promising that help is on the way."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), in remarks made after Wednesday's passage of President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill.

Biden set to sign American Rescue Plan into law

Having been approved by Congress, US President Joe Biden's flagship $1.9 trillion stimulus package will be signed into law by the end of the week.

Full report:

"For weeks now, an overwhelming percentage of Americans – Democrats, Independents, and Republicans – have made it clear they support the American Rescue Plan. Today, with final passage in the House of Representatives, their voice has been heard"

US President Joe Biden, in a White House statement issued after the American Rescue Plan's approval by the House.

Stimulus bill provides tax deductions for millions

The new stimulus bill includes tax relief for recipients of unemployment benefits, allowing you to knock thousands of dollars off your tax bill.

Full details:

“This thing started in March, and now I’m starting to see sales go back to where they were pre-Covid and we’re seeing people come out more It’s definitely the beginning of the turnaround."

Lino Joseph, owner of Atlanta's Spice House restaurant , speaking to WSB-TV Atlanta about the stimulus bill and his hopes it will draw more customers.

Third stimulus check: when will the money arrive?

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this week that most qualifying Americans can expect to receive their stimulus check "by the end of the month".

Here's our full report on how long it should take for the IRS to send out direct payments and how much claimants will get:

“The bill makes remarkable strides in the case of people who need coverage, who are lower- to moderate-income people and can’t possibly afford their coverage and depend on the marketplace. We see extraordinary improvement."

Sara Rosenbaum, professor of law at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at Georgetown University , believes the $1.9-trillion stimulus bill also addresses gaps in the current U.S. health care system.

Biden's stimulus bill could drastically cut poverty - study finds

As reported by Bloomberg, a study by the Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University found that Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan could cut child poverty by almost half, and would more than halve the rate for Black and Hispanic children.

The study forecasts that the annual poverty rate would drop by a third, from 12.3% to 8.2%.

The drop in poverty rates are mainly attributed to measures such as the $1,400 stimulus checks and $3,000-3,600 child tax credit 

Pelosi

In pictures: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (L) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sign the American Rescue Plan Act after the House Chamber voted on the final revised legislation of the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan, at the US Capitol on March 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. - The US Congress on Wednesday passed Joe Biden's enormous economic relief package, delivering a resounding victory for the US president and a desperately needed injection of cash to millions of families and businesses enduring the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP)

Will the $1,400 stimulus checks be taxed?

As with the previous two stimulus checks, the $1,400 stimulus checks will not be considered taxable income. 

 

Biden tweets: 'Checks are on the way'

Joe Biden has assured the $1,400 stimulus checks are "on the way", with the US president set to sign the American Rescue Plan on Friday.

What is in the new Protect the Right to Organize Act, approved by the House?

The House of Representatives has passed a bill which aims to protect workers and labour unions, known as the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

The bill was passed on Tuesday with a vote of 225-206, which saw five Republicans cross the aisle to support the Democrat-led legislation. The bill has been strongly backed by union leaders who say the legislation will address the unfair labour organization regulations that represses union organization and election processes.

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Who is Jared Golden, the only democrat who voted against of the stimulus bill?

The House passed the amended American Rescue Plan on Wednesday along nearly party lines, with one sole Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden, voting with Republicans. Read full story...

Child tax credit is standout legislation in bill, not the $1,400 stimulus check - professor

While most attention on the American Rescue Plan has centered around the $1,400 stimulus checks, the stand out measure in the bill is the child tax credit, according to Pamela Stone, professor of sociology at City University of New York, and author of the books ‘Opting Out’ and ‘Opting Back In’.

The relief legislation expands the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 annually per child aged 6-17 and to $3,600 for kids under 6 for single parents earning less than $75,000 annually, $112,500 for head of households, and $150,000 for married couples. 

But bill’s enhanced child tax credit has gone one step further by directing the IRS to send periodic cash payments valued at half the amount of tax credit to low- and middle-income families this year. Experts and democrats have said the enhanced child tax credit would reduce child poverty by 45%. “I think this is a critical piece of legislation,” Stone told Yahoo Finance.

“The U.S. is the only country in the world that, for example, does not have paid family leave. That leaves a whole set of solving of the work/family dilemma up to the individual, usually women,” she added. “So with money, you can have resources to purchase, for example, child care.”
 

Progressives continue to push for recurring $2,000 stimulus checks

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the American Rescue Plan into law on Friday, which will trigger the third round of stimulus checks worth up to $1,400 per person. The financial relief comes after weeks of negotiations and discussion in Congress, but some from within Biden's own Party feel like more support is needed. 

Rep. Cori Bush has been a particularly vocal supporter of recurring stimulus checks and cosigned a letter from over 50 progressives voices that called for repeat payments to be considered. Although both that and the proposed $15 per hour minimum wage did not make it to the final bill, the calls for these more long-term provisions continues.

Progressives continue to push for recurring $2,000 stimulus checks

President Joe Biden is expected to sign the American Rescue Plan into law on Friday, which will trigger the third round of stimulus checks worth up to $1,400 per person. The financial relief comes after weeks of negotiations and discussion in Congress, but some from within Biden's own Party feel like more support is needed. 

Rep. Cori Bush has been a particularly vocal supporter of recurring stimulus checks and cosigned a letter from over 50 progressives voices that called for repeat payments to be considered. Although both that and the proposed $15 per hour minimum wage did not make it to the final bill, the calls for these more long-term provisions continues.

European markets react to stimulus bill approval

European stock markets are set to rally Thursday in reaction to the final approval of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

London’s FTSE is seen opening 19 points higher at 6,738, Germany’s DAX 40 points higher at 14,574, France’s CAC 40 up 16 points at 6,004 and Italy’s FTSE MIB 94 points higher at 24,009, according to IG (via CNBC). 

Asia-Pacific markets are also trading higher on Thursday, while Stateside the Dow jumped a record 464 points on Wednesday. 

Good morning...

Good morning and welcome to our live blog as millions of Americans wake up somewhat relieved this Thursday following Congress' final approval of the $1,400 stimulus checks as part of Joe Biden's $1.9trn American Rescue Plan.

Joe Biden is set to sign the bill on Friday, meaning the IRS could start making the first round of electronic $1,400 payments shortly after.

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