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Third stimulus check updates: summary news on March 12

11 March 2021, US, Washington: US President Joe Biden (R) signs the American Rescue Plan into law as Vice President Kamala Harris looks on in the Oval Office at the White House. Photo: Adam Schultz/White House via Planet Pix via ZUMA Wire/dpa
 Adam Schult

American Rescue Plan live updates: 12 March


- Reports that third stimulus checks worth $1,400 are beginning to arrive in bank accounts

- 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

- Total cost of third stimulus checks estimated at $411 billion, around a quarter of total cost of the bill

- Biden says new stimulus bill will "build an economy that grows from the bottom up"

- American Rescue Plan could see restrictions rolled back by 4 July, with small gatherings allowed (full story)

- New bill includes $1,400 stimulus checks for individuals earning up to $75,000 and married couples up to $150,000

- Stimulus checks will no longer be sent to those earning more than $80,000 ($160,000 for couples) (full story)

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

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

- Biden declines to add his signature to stimulus checks as Donald Trump did

- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 29.28 million/530,821 (live updates)

Americans react to the upcoming stimulus checks

In a video posted on President Joe Biden's Twitter account, Americans outline what they intend to do with the $1,400 stimulus checks that are already beginning to arrive in people's bank accounts. The direct payments are the largest to have been sent during the pandemic, after previous rounds worth $1,200 and $600 per person. 

In an address from the White House Rose Garden earlier today, Biden said: “There is a lot of work for us left to do but I know we will do it,” before adding “To every American watching: Help is here and we will not stop working for you.” 

The IRS website has this handy Get My Payment webpage so you can track your stimulus check, but it has not yet been updated to provide information on the latest round of payments. 

Stimulus bill "will put working people in this country first"

On Friday President Biden met with Democratic leaders in the White House Rose Garden to mark the passing of the American Rescue Plan and announce that help is on the way for those struggling with the economic consequences of the pandemic. 

The bill includes $1,400 stimulus checks which are already being distributed, along with numerous other policies aimed at providing direct support for working Americans. However Biden told reporters that the bill will also alter the priorities in a nation that has seen wealth disparity grow during the course of the pandemic. 

“It changes the paradigm. For the first time in a long time, this bill puts working people in this nation first,” Biden said. “For too long, it’s been the folks at the top.”

When will the IRS finish sending the new stimulus checks?

We know that payments are already going out for the first wave of $1,400 stimulus checks, but many will be wondering when their money will be on the way. Although the IRS has improved its distribution procedure in each of the previous rounds, there are concerns that doing so in the middle of a busy tax return season could slow things down this time around. 

However in a recent statement IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said that he does not foresee any issues: “Even though the tax season is in full swing, IRS employees again worked around the clock to quickly deliver help to millions of Americans struggling to cope with this historic pandemic."

Stimulus check update: Reports of payments landing in bank accounts

Americans all across the country will be waiting expectantly for the $1,400 direct payments to arrive and it appears that some are now seeing the money in their bank accounts. White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced yesterday that they will begin arriving this weekend and it seems like some are there slightly ahead of schedule. 

For information on how to track your stimulus check, check out the IRS' Get My Payment webpage for updates in the near future. 

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


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

Who gets $1,400 payments for the third stimulus check?

The eligibility requirements for the third stimulus check has been a contentious issue in recent weeks and President Biden was forced to make amendments to his original American Rescue Plan to ensure the bill passed Congress.

Opposition in the Senate saw the upper income threshold lowered considerably, meaning that up to 12 million Americans will now miss out on receiving any of the money. 

We ran through the eligibility requirements to work out who gets the third stimulus check, and how much of the $1,400 they could be entitled to. 

Read more:

Stimulus checks will be arriving from this weekend

Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee has echoed the comments from White House press secretary Jen Psaki who yesterday announced that the first wave of stimulus check payments would hit peoples' bank accounts from this weekend onwards. The $1,400 checks were first promised back in Janaury but months of Congressional wrangling has slowed the process down. 

Rep. Lee also suggests that recipients check out the website to keep up to date with the distribution. The IRS has so far refused to extend the tax return deadline beyond the 15 April date originally set, but some fear that this could overburden them when the stimulus checks are sent out. The IRS will oversee both the direct payments and the tax filing procedure. 

Third stimulus check: link and how to apply in IRS portal


Third stimulus check: link and how to apply in IRS portal

How to get your $1,400 stimulus check from the IRS

The payments for the new stimulus check are expected to begin this weekend, but it's worth checking that all your details are up to date with the IRS to ensure that you get the money as quickly as possible. If you have already filed your tax return for the year that could also decide how much you get in your stimulus check. 

In this handy explainer we break down how to check on the status of the direct payment as they are sent out, and how to apply for the money if you are not a regular filer. Last year the IRS was trying to locate around 9 million non-filers who were due a stimulus check and many of them are still missing information. 

Read more:

Stimulus checks just one part of the battle against poverty

The $1,400 direct payments garnered most of the attention as Congress debated, negotiated and finally passed the American Rescue Plan, but the stimulus checks are far from the only programme aimed at addressing the growing wealth disparity in the US. 

Former South Carolina Rep. Bakari Sellers believes that the updated tax credits system will be just as valuable for millions of Americans, and will provide monthly support rather than just a one-off payment. For example the improved child tax credit provision will see parents sent up to $300 per month for each eligible child. The move comes as an estimated nine million American children are experiencing food poverty. 

How much will the $1,400 stimulus checks cost?

For many, the third round of stimulus checks were the key inclusion in the American Rescue Plan but the total amount of federal funding for the direct payments only takes up around a quarter of the total cost of the package. Here, that $422 billion of spending is compared to some other big incomings and outgoings for the US treasury. 

As you can see this round of payments alone would be around 10% of the federal budget for a typical year, but is still dwarfed by the military spending budget. 

How to cash out your third stimulus check


How to cash out your third stimulus check

How to cash out your third stimulus check

The third stimulus check will begin distribution this weekend, but the method will vary between people as the IRS looks to get the money out as quickly as possible. Around 85% of all US households will receive a stimulus check in one of three forms; direct deposit, paper check or an EIP pre-paid debit card.

If you've received the direct payment in the past the distribution method could be different for the latest stimulus check as the IRS should now have more complete details on file for eligible recipients. Here's everything you need to know about the new stimulus checks and how to get your hands on that $1,400. 

Read more:


The American Rescue Plan will create 7 million job this year - Biden

President Joe Biden attended reporters at the White House this afternoon to speak about the positive effects of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. "The American people understand it. It pays for many of the steps we have taken to vaccinate Americans. We are going to be in a position because of what you all did and passed, we had the money to go out and literally purchase hundreds of millions of vaccines," Biden said. "One of the things we said at the beginning that no one thought that I was being straight about, was I said we have to spend this money to make sure we have economic growth - unrelated to how much it's going to help people. Guess what? Every single major economist out there left, right and centre supported this plan. Even Wall Street agreed. According to Moodys, by the end of this year, this law alone will create 7 million new jobs.

"And the bill does one more thing, which I think is really important. It changes the paradigm. For the first time in a long time, this bill puts working people in this nation first. It's a fact. For too long, it's been the folks at the top, they're not bad folks - a significant number of them know they shouldn't be getting the tax breaks. But it put the richest Americans first, which benefitted the most. The theory was, cut taxes and those at the top and the benefits they get will trickle down to everyone. Well, you saw what trickle down does, we've known it for a long time. This is the first time since the Johnson administration or even before that, to begin the change the paradigm. It's time we build an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out. This bill shows that when you do that, everybody does better".

Third stimulus check: do I have to pay taxes on it?


Third stimulus check: do I have to pay taxes on it?

Tax and stimulus checks: all you need to know

The $1,400 direct payments could be in your bank account this weekend, but many are still unsure about how the new stimulus checks will affect IRS tax returns.

Read more:

Undocumented immigrants and stimulus checks

Undocumented immigrant who have been issued a Social Security number are eligible for a $1,400 stimulus check - even if they are classed as a noncitizen. Any undocumented worker, who came to the US on a work visa which later expired will have been issued a SSN and therefore be eligible for a stimulus check.

To qualify for a check, you must have a valid Social Security number as long as you are not a "nonresident alien." According to the IRS, undocumented immigrants qualify as resident aliens for tax purposes if they spend enough days physically present in the US for 120 days in each of the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Biden and Harris to visit Georgia and Pennsylvania

US President Joe Biden and vicepresident Kamala Harris will be 'hitting the road' visiting three mid-term battleground states next week to explain the American Rescue Plan to the public, White House Press Officer Jen Psaki confirmed today. "On Monday, he will hold an event at the White House, on the implementation of the American Rescue Plan. On Tuesday, he will travel to Delaware County, Pennsylvania, as part of the 'Help is Here' tour. And on Friday, the President and the vicepresident will travel to Georgia to continue engaging with Americans about how they will benefit from the Rescue Plan," Psaki told reporters.

"I don’t buy Biden spin that Americans are getting $2000"

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has explained hers stance on the amount which Americans will receive in a direct stimulus payment as part of President Biden's $1.9 trillion rescue package which was signed off yesterday. AOC told Forbes that she and many in her party were hoping for more generous aid, as well as raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

“We believe that this is not just about Democrats versus Republicans and just doing this ping-pong back and forth," she began. "We believe that the Democratic Party needs to be better too. In a package like this, it can be really frustrating because you are negotiating within your own party. How did we want this package to go further? First of all, we wanted stimulus checks to be $2000. The argument for giving $1400 is that, ‘We gave ‘$600 in December and both of those things add up to $2000. I don’t like it, I don’t buy it and I know a lot of you don’t buy it. Because, when we say $2000, 2K is 2K... In our vision of the world, these checks should be recurring – to make up for the complete abandonment of last year. I don’t want us to just pretend that the devastation of last year didn’t happen".  



85% of American households will receive direct stimulus checks

President Joe Biden invited Americans to explain how his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan  will help them. Around 85% of all US households will receive direct stimulus checks after Biden signed off the relief bill yesterday.


US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Rescue Plan virtual briefing in the South Court Auditorium, next to the White House, in Washington, DC.



Despite Republican opposition, red states fare well in Biden's bill

Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill was crafted without Republican input and passed Congress without a single Republican vote.

Nevertheless, Republican-leaning states are due to get a disproportionate share of many of its benefits. States that voted for former President Donald Trump in the November election are due to get a larger amount of education and child-care aid per resident than those that backed Biden, according to estimates from two congressional committees.

Residents of Republican-leaning states, which tend to have lower household incomes, also are likely to get larger stimulus checks and tax breaks as well, according to an independent research group.

That would be enough to offset the smaller share of state and local aid Trump-backing states are due to receive compared to states that backed Biden, which is calculated on a different basis.

Overall, Republican-leaning states would get a net $3,192 per resident from these provisions, which account for slightly more than $1 trillion of the bill's $1.9 trillion cost.

Democratic-leaning states would get $3,160, according to a Reuters analysis. Republicans have characterized the package as a Democratic wish list, highlighting provisions that would help federal employees and union pension funds. But the Reuters analysis shows that its benefits would flow to conservative and liberal areas alike.

Much of the aid is targeted at lower-income Americans who have suffered disproportionately during the coronavirus crisis.

That helps low-wage, Republican-leaning states including Louisiana and Mississippi more than those in higher-income, Democratic-leaning states like Maryland and New Jersey.

Democrats have urged Republicans to back the bill on those grounds. "I call upon my Republican colleagues to stop their March madness and still have compassion for their constituents who are less than wealthy," Democratic Representative Jim Clyburn said on Wednesday.

But every Republican in the House and Senate voted against the bill, viewing it as overly expensive and poorly targeted. "This bill won’t speed up our return to normal -- it will only increase financial risks and burden future generations with unnecessary debt," House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Wednesday.

Some 70% of American adults -- including half of Republicans -- support the measure, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll conducted March 8-9.


Biden targets return to normalcy after covid-19

The US president asked American citizens to do their part in helping to overcome the covid-19 pandemic in a prime time address shortly after the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Act was signed into law. Biden has set a tentative target of 4 July fro the US to secure its "independence" from coronavirus restrictions.

"I will not relent until we beat this virus. But I need you, the American people. I need you, I need every American, to do their part," Biden said (per CNN). "I need you to get vaccinated when it's your turn and when you can find an opportunity. And to help your family, your friends, your neighbors get vaccinated as well. Because here's the point, if we do all this, if we do our part, if we do this together -- by July the Fourth, there's a good chance you, your family and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day. ... After this long hard year, that will make this Independence Day something truly special."


Bill passes but Biden still faces hard sell

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

After signing the bill, one of the largest economic stimulus measures in US history and his first big legislative victory since taking office in January, Biden's administration then plans to take its sales pitch on the road, with the president 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 massive legislative package, which received final congressional approval on Wednesday, passed with Democratic majorities in the US House of Representatives and the Senate, but no Republican votes, despite broad popular support.

The bill will send $1,400 checks to millions of households, extend unemployment benefits and put billions of dollars into state budgets and industries after a year-long pandemic that has killed over 526,000 Americans and put millions out of work.

But Biden is not taking the bill's immediate popularity for granted, especially after what befell former Democratic President Barack Obama, whom Biden served as vice president.

In 2009, Obama spent little time promoting a more than $800 billion 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, even as some economists said it did not go far enough.

But Republicans, who almost unanimously opposed the measure, captured the House of Representatives in 2010, narrowed Democrats' lead in the Senate and proceeded to 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 US 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."

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images/AFP

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says $1,400 stimulus checks will start landing in bank accounts this weekend

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has spoken to the Today Show about the American Rescue Plan, stating: "We're working hard first to get the direct payments out -- the $1,400 checks or direct deposits. Americans will begin seeing those show up in their bank accounts this weekend."

You can check out Secratary Yellen's interview with the Today Show below...

Third stimulus check: link and how to apply in IRS portal


Third stimulus check: link and how to apply in IRS portal

Third stimulus check: how to claim through IRS portal

With the terms now finally set in stone, the process will be much the same as the previous two rounds, and the good news is that if you have already made a previous claim for a check, you shouldn't need to have to take any action for the latest one. In addition, if you qualify and your banking and mailing information are correct, the stimulus payment will be sent to you automatically either by direct deposit or a mailing check. The IRS will continue to use its “Get My Payment” tool for tracking purposes.


How many Americans have claimed unemployment benefits this month?


How many Americans have claimed unemployment benefits this month?

How many Americans have claimed unemployment benefits this month?

There was a light of hope this week with the signing of the American Rescue Plan on Thursday by President Biden, which will extend unemployment benefits for millions of Americans still out of work. The US economy is still clawing its way back from the depths of the collapse of the labor market when the covid-19 pandemic was declared one year ago. But unemployment still remains stubbornly high with over 9 million jobs less than before the pandemic struck.


Bernie Sanders calls out Republican "hypocrisy"

Bernie Sanders has taken aim at Republicans after they voted against the American Rescue Plan to send out $1,400 stimulus checks, while at the same time proposing a bill to repeal the estate tax.

"While Senate Republicans told us we cannot afford to provide $1,400 direct payments to the working class, they had no problem introducing a bill this week to repeal the estate tax which would provide a $1.7 trillion tax break to the billionaire class. Total hypocrisy!"


Republicans criticize Biden for sending stimulus checks to prison inmates

Well-known Republican senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have criticized President Joe Biden and the Democrats for sending $1,400 stimulus checks to illegal immigrants and prison inmates. However, regarding illegal immigrants, this is not the case exactly.

After running a fact check on those claims, Newsweek found: "Illegal immigrants would not be eligible to receive a check if they do not have a Social Security number. Immigrants who overstay their visas no longer are lawfully in the country but retain their Social Security numbers and therefore are eligible to receive a check."

McConnell slams Biden's bill as "a multitrillion-dollar Trojan horse"

Mitch McConnell slammed the American Rescue Plan as a "a multitrillion-dollar Trojan horse" at the senate on Thursday.

"This wasn't a bill to finish off the pandemic, it was a multitrillion-dollar Trojan horse full of bad old liberal ideas. President Biden's own staff keep calling this legislation quote 'the most progressive bill in American history.' Hardly the commonsense bipartisanship that the president promised."

McConell, along with all of his Republican senate colleagues, voted against the bill.

US stock indices hit all-time highs

A number of  major U.S. stock indexes reached all-time highs on Thursday after Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, Dow Jones industrial average and Russell 2000 index of smaller companies all hit all-time highs, with investors bullish following the passing of the $1.9trn stimulus bill.

"With President Biden’s actions and the delivery of the life-saving resources of the American Rescue Plan, we will crush the virus, save jobs & grow the economy, and Build Back Better For The People."

Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader of the House of Representatives

"It’s time to show you the money!" - AOC hosted Instagram Live about the Stimulus Bill

Democratic Congressowman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hosted an Instagram Live event to answer questions related to the $1,400 stimulus check and Covid relief bill. You can watch it back on the link provided in New York representative's Twitter post below...

Breakdown of stimulus bill aid money for states

Aside from helping individuals and families with measures such as the $1,400 stimulus check, the $3,000-3,600 child tax credit, and the extension of the $300 enhanced unemployment benefit, the American Rescue Plan has also allocated $360bn in aid for state and local governments. Below, Bloomberg has put together a graph indicating the amount incoming for each state...

Direct deposits from U.S. COVID bill to come as early as this weekend, White House says

Direct deposits from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief legislation signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday will come as early as this weekend, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

With the signing of the stimulus bill, Biden commemorated the one-year anniversary of a U.S. lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic with a measure designed to bring relief to Americans and boost the economy.

"People can expect to start seeing direct deposits hit their bank accounts as early as this weekend. This is, of course, just the first wave," Psaki said. Payments to eligible Americans will continue throughout the course of the next several weeks, she added.

Nearly 160 million households are expected to get payments, according to White House estimates. The bill includes an expanded child tax credit of up to $3,000 per child, or $3,600 for each child under age 6. The Internal Revenue Service will pay part of that in monthly installments of $250 or $300 from July through December, adding a benefits distributor role to the revenue collection agency’s responsibilities.

Making one-off payments to those who regularly file tax returns should not be a struggle for the IRS, tax experts said.


New York Post slams "crazy-bad stimulus checks"

The New York Post has slammed the  "Dems’ Crazy-Bad Stimulus Checks" in a piece by its editorial board on Wednesday:

Those $1,400 checks are “the most indefensible part” of the Democrats’ COVID-19 relief bill, sighs The Washington Post’s Megan McArdle. The federal government no doubt has an “interest” in ensuring that businesses forced to close due to the pandemic and lockdowns (hotels, restaurants, bars, airlines) survive. “Yet the stimulus bill does little” for such industries, and it “actually spends more” on “the majority of people who still have jobs” than on the unemployed. Nor is there any need for checks to stimulate demand: “Giving money to someone who still has their job doesn’t make them more likely to go out to dinner if the reason they’ve stopped going out is that they’re afraid of the deadly virus.” That’s just “bad policy” — and may well “seed the next economic crisis.”



Study shows retail investors will invest 40% of stimulus checks in stock market

A survey by Deutsche Bank has found that retail investors plan to invest 40% of their stimulus check money in stocks. The chart above breaks down the survey by age, income level and online investing experience.

Who qualifies for a $1,400 stimulus check payment?

The White House has confirmed that the third stimulus checks will begin distribution this weekend, but not everyone is sure if they will be eligible to receive the payment or not. During the Senate discussions last week the Democrats were forced to make some concessions to the GOP and moderate members of their own party that saw the income threshold lowered for the new stimulus checks. 

Here, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi outlines those new income thresholds and provides a handy calculator to work out whether you will be in line for the $1,400 direct payment. 

ICYMI: Biden's speech after signing the Stimulus Bill into law

Overview of the Stimulus Bill

Here is an overview of the highlight measures in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was given final approval by Congress yesterday:

- $1,400 stimulus checks

- $160 billion for vaccine and testing programs 

- $360 billion in aid for state, local and territorial governments

- Extension of weekly federal benefit of $300 a week through 6 September. 

- Increase of child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,600 for children up to 6, and $3,000 for children between 6 and 17.

- $170 billion to help schools open

- $45 billion to help low-income households that have lost jobs pay rent, mortgages and utility bills.

Good morning...

Good morning and welcome as we begin our live blog this Friday morning, providing you with all the news and reaction after President Joe Biden signed his $1.9 trillion relief package into law on Thursday, which will allow for the the first $1,400 stimulus check payments to be sent as early as this weekend.


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