Third stimulus check news summary: 23 March 2021

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Third stimulus check updates: is there a 4th stimulus coming? | Tracker, eligibility, release date & child tax credit | Live

Stimulus check live updates - Tuesday 23 March 2021

Headlines:

- President Biden: 100 million stimulus check payments will be made by Wednesday

- $63 billion in improper payments, mainly through fraud, issued since last year, estimates Department of Labor watchdog

- Around 160 million households in the US to get stimulus check of up to $1,400 per person (who's eligible?)

- 24 March the next direct-deposit payment date, IRS says

- IRS chief warns that child tax credit payments could be delayed (full details)

- More than 90 million stimulus checks have been distributed, IRS said last week

- Americans warned about stimulus check phishing scams

- President Biden's $1.9tn stimulus bill also includes expanded child tax credit, boosted unemployment insurance (more info)

- Track your stimulus check using the IRS's Get My Payment Tool

- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 29.92 million/543,793 (live updates)

Further related reading:

Biden

Second set of third stimulus checks arriving by direct deposit on Wednesday

The next batch of third stimulus checks is set to reach direct-deposit recipients on Wednesday, although the check may already have appeared in bank accounts as a "provisional or pending" payment,  the IRS and the US Treasury said earlier this week.

Americans who do not get a direct-deposit stimulus check by Wednesday should keep an eye out for a paper check or pre-paid debit card arriving by regular mail, the agencies said.

"Since this new set of payments will include more mailed payments, we urge people to carefully watch their mail for a check or debit card in the coming weeks,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, said.

Further third-stimulus-check payment runs are anticipated "on a weekly basis going forward", according to the IRS and the Treasury.

Full details on the next batch of third stimulus checks

(Photo: Jim Watson/AFP)

Former Obama adviser: US economy really far from where we it needs to be

Jason Furman, who was a top economic adviser in the Obama administration, says he agrees with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s optimistic outlooks on the US economy, but cautioned: "We’re really far from where we need to be."

And as Joe Biden prepares an ambitious, $3tn investment plan to follow on from his coronavirus relief bill, Furman said the president’s next spending package will be "even more important" than the $1.9tn stimulus he signed into law earlier in March.

In remarks made to the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, Yellen said she believes the US "may see a return to full employment next year" and Powell added that the country’s economic recovery "has progressed more quickly than generally expected and looks to be strengthening".

"I very much agree with them,” Furman told MSNBC. "It’s great to see the two of them testifying together. It makes me feel reassured about where we are as a country and the hands that we’re in. We’re really far from where we need to be. I think we’ve taken the steps we need to to get there over the next year.

"The issue then is going to be sustaining economic momentum, building stronger and more sustainable growth. That’s where the next package comes in. And I hope that they’re just as ambitious about the next package as they were about the last one. In many ways it’ll be even more important because it’ll be our destiny over the next decade and the next decades to come."

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

IRS Tax Return: what to do to claim missing stimulus check?

Many Americans failed to receive their stimulus check in either the first or second round of direct payments. If you were one of them, don’t despair. When you file your tax return you can claim yours.

Full details on how to claim your missing stimulus check

100 million stimulus checks will have been sent by Wednesday

In an address given by President Biden to mark ten years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, he told reporters gathered that they expect to excede 100 million stimulus check payments by tomorrow. 

The next wave of direct deposits is expected to land in recipients' accounts on Wednesday 24 March, topping up the 90 million that were sent out last week. The $1,400 bank transfers should be concluded tomorrow, with the remaining payments sent out by physical check or debit card. 

Stimulus check support for homeless Americans is insufficient

A tragic but widespread consequence of the coronavirus pandemic is a rise in homelessness as many are unable to make ends meet. ABC News spoke to one mother who had been unable to claim the third stimulus check while living on the street, pointing out that the resources needed to chase up the $1,400 payments (telephone, internet access) are often not there for the more vulnerable. 

However it should still be possible for homeless Americans to receive their stimulus checks, and the IRS have outlined the procedure: Here's how unhoused people can get the $1,400 stimulus check

US NEWS

Biden’s $3 trillion job package: what would it include?

Reports suggest that the Biden administration are working on a sweeping new $3 trillion economic package, just weeks after the new stimulus bill was signed into law. But while the American Rescue Plan provides more short-term relief in the form of stimulus checks and unemployment benefits, the new package aims to both boost the post-pandemic economy and reshape the American jobs market.

The huge burst of federal funding represents many of President Joe Biden’s long-term objectives, and builds in programmes hoped to help reduce carbon emissions and address the widening economic inequality in the United States.

Read more

Child Tax Credit expansion is "a reflection of the hard times that families face"

Rep Rosa Delauro has spoken about her experience of eviction as a child, recounting being forced to leave her childhood home. Many are feared to be on the brink of suffering similar fates as the pandemic continues to destroy livelihoods across the country, and Delauro has given her backing to the new Child Tax Credit programme. 

"For me, it's a reflection of the hard times that families face", she told the Cheerful Podcast. Delauro is a long-time supporter of federal payments for families, which is a fairly common support system in most developed nations. 

CHILD TAX CREDIT

$3,000/$3,600 Child Tax Credit: are the payments weekly or monthly?

The American Rescue Plan included a ground-breaking change to the Child Tax Credit programme, which was intended to address the increasing levels of childhood poverty across the nation

The new provision would see eligible parents and guardians sent up to $3,600 per year, with the support coming in the form of monthly direct deposits. However after having to extend the tax return deadline, the overworked IRS may be unable to implement the new proposal until late summer as they battle through a backlog of tax returns and stimulus check payments.

This threatens to alter the payment plan for the new support, with the IRS chief hinting that the Child Tax Credit may not be available on a monthly basis initially. 

More info

Stimulus checks and Child Tax Credit expansion costs half a trillion dollars

Some in Congress have questioned where the $1.9 trillion of federal funding required for Biden's stimulus bill will be going, and this handy graphic from the Tax Foundation shows where the money is spent. 

The largest of the myriad programmes and schemes funded by the American Rescue Plan is the third round of stimulus checks, which costs $410 billion. Other big expenses like the extension of unemployment benefits and the new-look Child Tax Credit show that Biden is eager to focus the federal effort on tackling childhood poverty. 

What will the new Child Tax Credit do for American families?

One of the key inclusions in the new stimulus bill was a complete overhaul of the Child Tax Credit programme to provide monthly payments to all families, regardless of how much tax they pay. Here, a number of lawmakers and experts outline why they feel the change is not only needed, but overdue. 

Estimates suggest that the shocking extent of childhood poverty in the United States costs the federal government around $1 trillion a year, and Biden has claimed that the American Rescue Plan can cut the number of kids experiencing poverty in half. 

Third stimulus check gives spending boost 

Financial analysts at JP Morgan have found that spending on Chase consumer cards has increased dramatically since this time last year, a clear sign that the new $1,400 stimulus checks are encouraging people to spend. 

There had been some concern that many would choose to save their stimulus money, but this suggests that the huge federal outlay will have a positive effective on the pandemic-hit economy. 

Cruz calls for greater stimulus check controls

Even as the third round of stimulus checks is being sent out, Congress are still arguing about who should receive the $1,400 payments. Currently, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Ron Wyden are arguing about the eligibility of criminals and things appear to be getting quite heated. 

Cruz is arguing that criminals currently in prison should be barred from receiving $1,400 taxpayer stimulus checks and that those funds should instead be sent to the DOJ's Crime Victims Fund. 

Despite Cruz's protestations that 'Biden is sending money to felons', this is the same policy that was used when former President Trump first introduced stimulus checks a year ago. 

Biden

Talk of a fourth stimulus check...

The recent American Rescue Plan bill was able to be passed by the Democrats without Republican support by using a mechanism called 'budget reconciliation'. This requires a simple majority in the Senate - something the Georgia run-off elections helped with - but this process can only be executed once per fiscal year, meaning that Democrats would have to wait until after 1 October to use it again.

As such, if a fourth stimulus check comes, it will probably not come until then, as Democrats will unlikely be unable to count on Republican support for a fourth payment, despite the overwhelming approval another payment would have among US voters.

IRS

Stimulus checks may appear early in bank accounts as pending payments

Although the stimulus checks sent out this week are to due to reach direct-deposit recipients on 24 March, some may find their check appears in their bank account as a pending payment before then.

The IRS and the Treasury say the "vast majority" of recipients will get their stimulus check via direct deposit, but they are also sending out some payments in the form of paper checks or pre-paid debit cards. People who do not see their money appear in their bank account by 24 March should also be on the look-out for a check arriving by mail.

"The IRS continues to send the third round of stimulus payments in record time,” the agency’s commissioner, Chuck Rettig, said.

Biden

Biden to unveil 2022 discretionary funding request next week -official

The Biden administration plans to release its discretionary funding request for 2021 next week, with a full budget proposal set to be unveiled later this spring, a budget official said on Tuesday.

The official, who declined to be named, said the phased roll-out was designed to prioritize the discretionary funding because "this is the information Congress needs to start its appropriations process." The full budget will include mandatory spending and tax reform proposals, in addition to discretionary spending, the official added.

IRS push 'Get my Payment' tool

With the IRS issuing the third payments in phases, users can find out when and how we sent your third Economic Impact Payment with the Get My Payment application. The Get My Payment page updates once a day, usually overnight.

IMF economist sees only 'transitory' bump in inflation from US stimulus

The chief economist of the International Monetary Fund said a $1.9 trillion US stimulus plan could trigger a temporary bump in consumer prices, but she did not expect increased inflation to last long.

Gita Gopinath told National Public Radio, the U.S. Federal Reserve had tools to address inflation if the increase in prices lasted longer, but cautioned that a quick increase in interest rates could be "quite disorderly"

Yellen

US Treasury's Yellen sees post-covid growth, possible full employment in 2022

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will paint an optimistic picture for the U.S. economy as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, telling U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday that she sees both growth and possibly full employment next year, due to President Joe Biden's coronavirus stimulus package.

Yellen, in written testimony prepared for delivery to the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said that with passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, "I am confident that people will reach the other side of this pandemic with the foundations of their lives intact. And I believe they will be met there by a growing economy. In fact, I think we may see a return to full employment next year."

Yellen said the Treasury, tasked with implementing much of the Biden stimulus plan and distributing the funds, was working to expedite relief to the areas of greatest need, including the smallest of small businesses, which are disproportionately owned by women and people of color.

Merkel

Third wave in Europe adds to US market caution

Contributing to market caution was a third wave of the covid-19 pandemic in Europe. Germany is extending its lockdown and urging citizens to stay at home for five days over the Easter holidays, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

US dollar

Dollar strengthens as investors turn cautious

The dollar rose against a basket of most major currencies on Tuesday, while yields on U.S. Treasuries dipped, as fears about the lasting impact of the coronavirus crisis resurfaced.

The dollar index was last up 0.38% at 92.1330, reversing course from Monday when it dipped but hovered below four-month highs.

"We’re finally coming to the realization that the pandemic has not been fought in a global united way and it’s starting to bite us," said Juan Perez, a currency trader and strategist at Tempus Inc. "This (U.S.) administration has shown it's committed to inoculations. That whole safe haven role the dollar plays for everyone, is holding."

The dollar index has gained around 2.4% so far in 2021, as investors see the relatively quick rollout of covid-19 vaccines and stimulus spending in the United States as boosting economic growth.

Dollars

US current account deficit hits 12-year high in 2020

The US current account deficit raced to a 12-year high in 2020 as the pandemic severely disrupted exports and could remain elevated this year as an economic recovery driven by massive fiscal stimulus draws in imports.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the current account deficit, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country, surged 34.8% to $647.2 billion last year. That was the largest shortfall since 2008.

The current account gap represented 3.1% of gross domestic product last year, also the largest share since 2008 and up from 2.2% in 2019. The high current account deficit is likely not an issue for the United States, in part because of the dollar's status as the reserve currency.

"Early 2021 data shows the trade recovery continuing in the first quarter, but it will take time to return to pre-covid conditions since the pandemic isn't over yet and stretched supply chains are inhibiting progress," said Oren Klachkin, lead U.S. economist at Oxford Economics in New York.

Look out for a paper stimulus check unless it arrives tomorrow

The IRS has advised anyone expecting to get the third stimulus check but who has not received it by Wednesday 24 March to look out for a physical payment in the coming weeks. The second major wave of direct deposit payments is set to land in bank accounts tomorrow, after the first 90 million payments were made last week.

Those who the IRS cannot reach with bank transfers will get the money either in the form of a paper check or an Economic Impact Payment debit card, both of which would be sent to the filer’s home address.

Sec Hoover: Child Tax Credit has bipartisan support

Secretary Jennifer Granholm has spoken to PBS’s Firing Line to discuss the benefits of the new Child Tax Credit programme. The new financial support has garnered widespread support in Washington, something that Granholm believes may suggest a pathway to getting the programme extended.

President Biden has already spoken of his desire to see the Child Tax Credit extended indefinitely, and numerous Democrats have raised the possibility of using reconciliation to extend the support in the future.

California growth helps to pay for the state-wide stimulus check

Early last month, as Congress continued to disagree over the fate of the new stimulus bill, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the Golden State Stimulus bill to provide immediate support. The package provided around $14 billion in state spending to help industries and individuals that were worst-hit by the pandemic.

Included in that was a round of $600 stimulus checks for low-income households. Gov. Newsom has now revealed that a larger tax revenue than was previously expected will allow the state to cover the cost of the stimulus checks more easily:

“In partnership with the Legislature, we’ve ensured much of these revenue gains are providing immediate relief for individuals and families through the Golden State Stimulus, and for struggling small businesses.”

Stimulus checks will help boost “spending, job growth and capital investment”

Economists are expecting consumer spending in the US to surge in the coming months as vaccine rollout continues, restrictions are removed and the direct support provided in the new stimulus bill begins to take effect.

“We remain optimistic that retail will help facilitate a surge in spending, job growth and capital investment,” National Retail Federation president and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

They expect a considerable uptake in interest in sports apparel and footwear and the luxury sector, both of which have been neglected during the pandemic. Retailers like Nike have already seen increased sales as the third stimulus checks began distribution.

Check your mail, stimulus payments could be on their way

The next batch of direct deposits for the third stimulus checks is expected to land tomorrow, a week after the IRS confirmed that they had made 90 million payments. This appears to be the final major wave of bank transfer that the agency will be making to send out the $1,400 payments, but does not mean that the support stops here. 

Coming next will be the paper stimulus checks and the Economic Impact Payment debit cards, both of which are physically sent to the recipient's home address. So if you haven't had yours by tomorrow, make sure to keep an eye on you mail for the next few weeks. 

CHILD TAX CREDIT

$3,000/$3,600 Child Tax Credit: when could it arrive after the IRS delay?

It has been nearly two weeks since the American Rescue Plan was signed into law, but issues with the administrative process could see significant delays before the new Child Tax Credit system begins.

The IRS had been scheduled to begin distribution with a new online portal set to go live from 1 July, but the tax authority's Commissioner Charles Rettig has warned the House Ways and Means Committee that it could be later:

We intend to do our best to get there — I’m hopeful that I don’t have to come to the committee to say that we’re unable to meet the statutory requirement,” Rettig said.

Read more on When will the new Child Tax Credit arrive?

Stimulus checks provide boost for retailers

New data from Bank of America Global Research suggests that the retail industry in the US is set to experience a considerable boom as the third stimulus checks begin to hit bank accounts. Around 90 million payments have already been made with another massive batch expected tomorrow, and this research suggests then many will be spending it

One of the most significant areas of spending is athletic footwear and apparel, where spending jumped by +19.5% year over year for the week ending 13 March. 

Social Security, SSI and VA recipients not receiving stimulus payments 

Many people are complaining on social media that they didn’t receive a payment in the initial batch of payments sent out last week by the IRS. Many of those who receive benefits from Social Security retirement or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) were left wondering why they were not included in that first wave of payments.

As with previous rounds, their payments are sent automatically. Bill Pascrell what’s to get to the bottom of why this group wasn’t targeted due to their need.

Stimulus bill breathes new life into ACA 

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) gives states a significant financial incentive to 14 states that haven’t yet implemented the Medicaid expansion to do so. So much so that even Alabama and Wyoming to consider expanding the government health program to residents who are too rich to qualify now but too poor to afford private health plans. 

Republicans have tried time and again to suffocate the Affordable Care Act since its inception. But eleven years after President Barack Obama signed his signature domestic achievement the health law is again expanding. 

Read the full story from the New York Times

Stimmy

What to do if I don't get my third stimulus check in the mail 

The IRS is sending out the second batch of $1,400 stimulus payments set to land in bank accounts 24 March, but some may be expecting theirs to arrive by mail. 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began sending out the first batch of $1,400 direct stimulus payments the day after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act in March. The IRS plans to send the payments to the vast number of Americans via direct deposit, but cautions that form of the third round of payments may be different than in previous rounds.  

The overworked agency, in an effort to get the $1,400 Economic Impact Payments out the door as fast as possible, has already begun to send payments through the mail in the form of physical checks and debit cards. Last week the IRS announced that 150,000 stimulus checks had been mailed to eligible Americans with the second batch now on its way. But how do you know whether the payment will arrive by mail or appear directly in your bank account? 

And what can you do if yours has been sent by mail but has yet to arrive? Read the full story on how to track your payment and steps to ensure it arrives.

What’s the truth about President Biden’s tax plan? 

During the 2020 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump claimed some 80 times that Joe Biden was going to raise taxes on all or most Americans. Biden had a consistent refrain — that was false, no one making less than $400,000 a year would face higher taxes. 

Essentially, that level would mean about 98 percent of households would be spared from any new taxes. The top 2 percent — who earn one-quarter of adjusted gross income — would bear the burden of paying for Biden’s ambitious policies. 

Biden appeared to reaffirm that stance during a recent interview. But then some comments by White House press secretary Jen Psaki muddied the waters a bit. The Wall Street Journal editorial page quickly accused Biden of a “tax bait and switch.” 

Find out the facts from the Washington Post:

Biden

Third stimulus checks: when are the rest coming, according to the IRS?

The IRS and the US Treasury on Monday announced that the next batch of third stimulus checks is to go out this week, with further payment runs "on a weekly basis going forward".

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the US Treasury Department announced on Monday that the next batch of third stimulus checks is to go out this week, with direct-deposit recipients of the payment expected to get their money on Wednesday 24 March.

In total, nearly 160 million US households are set to get a check as part of Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief package, which the American president signed into law on 11 March.

Read about when the IRS expects to get out the $1,400 stimulus checks:

How to pay for all the stimulus spending 

President Joe Biden got almost everything he wanted with his $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan. In the pipeline is Biden’s “Build Back Better” infrastructure plan that could cost $2 trillion at the low end but quite possibly more. In order to pay for that Biden and Democrats want to roll back tax cuts under former President Donald Trump. However Goldman Sachs thinks a large tax hike will face far more resistance.

Big stimulus needed, but does it work?

In an opinion piece entitled 'An avalanche of money', Moisés Naím looks at the current stimulus relief bill pushed by President Biden and compares the situation to the financial crises of 2008.

'Economists agree that the devastating economic aftermath of the pandemic calls for a substantial increase in government spending. An injection of public spending will help individuals, families, businesses and other organizations that suddenly lost their incomes,' he begins.

'Even the most conservative economic institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and other central banks, as well as top economists, not only recommend increasing public spending, but doing it in a big way.'

But there are clear risks...

Stimulus relief: more thoughts on debt impact

"We're not out of it yet," but monetary policy needs to adapt to the aggressive fiscal approach as we move out of the pandemic.

Listen to Dallas Fed's Robert Kaplan speaking to CNBC's Squawk Box on the current relief bill outlay.

Biden's multi-trillion dollar relief and infrastructure bills

A timely podcast, some may say, from the 'How To Academy' looking at how $1 trillion could be used to change the course of human history.

Senior editor of the New Scientist and evolutionary biologist Rowan Hooper digs deep.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check: how are the official paper checks and debit cards?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been moving quickly to send eligible Americans the third stimulus payment initiating what was the first wave of payments just a day after the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden.

Weekly batches of payments are being sent, with the second scheduled to land in bank accounts 24 March. The agency will continue to send out payments throughout 2021.

To speed up payments the IRS will try to send the bulk of payments via direct deposit. But in order to expedite those payments that can’t be sent directly to bank accounts the agency will also send physical checks and pre-loaded debit cards through the post. The IRS urges taxpayers that don’t receive a direct deposit by 24 March to watch the mail carefully for their stimulus check or pre-loaded debit card, known as an Economic Impact Payment Card, or EIP Card.

Read more on the second round of stimulus checks.

I do believe that the average American on the street needs help right now.

If this is going to help them feed their kids, if this is going to help them with childcare, if this is going to hold them over until their full employment is restored, then I think it’s warranted.

Nic Hunter, Republican mayor, Louisiana

Relief bill leads to UFO report publication

In what may be the most unexpected story of the day, The Washington Post has reported that as well as providing support for needy Americans at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, then president Donald Trump's $2.3 trillion relief bill also dealt with UFOs.

The legislation, which President Donald Trump signed into law, was a bureaucratic nesting doll that ran over 5,500 pages and contained the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which itself carried an unusual provision in its “committee comment” section, beneath the understated heading “Advanced Aerial Threats.”

The stipulation mandates that the director of national intelligence work with the secretary of defense on a report detailing everything the government knows about unidentified flying objects — known in agency lingo as “unidentified aerial phenomena” or “anomalous aerial vehicles.”

Full story:

Stimulus scammers target unemployment system

At least $63 billion in improper payments have been doled out since last year, much of it fraud, according to February estimates from a watchdog for the US Department of Labor. Now states are bracing for another surge in fraudulent claims after Congress and the White House extended some unemployment benefits into September.

“We’re in a tug of war,” says Kristin Richards, acting director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security, which in the year through January has stopped about 1.1 million claims involving identity theft.

“We have this public pressure to move quickly with benefits, while at the same time having to really fight fraudsters and make sure that we are being good stewards of benefit programs.”

Bloomberg investigates.

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

$3000/$3600 Child tax credit: can I apply for it if I ask for unemployment benefits?

What might be one of the most consequential features of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill enacted in March could be the changes to the Child Tax Credit.

For the 2021 fiscal year families will be able to take advantage of an increased fully-refundable tax credit available to more households. The bill envisioned part of that credit being sent out as monthly payments, starting in July.

The enhanced Child Tax Credit will no longer require households to earn at least $2,500 to begin to see the benefits from the credit. This will mean that families who have no income will be able to take advantage of the tax provision. This could see US child poverty nearly halved and bring some financial stability to many families raising children.

We dive into the detail and how it could affect you.

Is stimulus relief bill driving up manufacturing sentiment?

Despite almost unanimous refusal to get behind President Biden's bill, it's entirely reasonable to think that business owners and managers were happy to see the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act,

Pantheon has a look at the data behind the industry reaction.

"Pass GO and collect your stimulus check!"

The toy company Hasbro has announced that it is changing all 16 of the game's Community Chest cards to better reflect what community means to fans today and, given current circumstances, some have suggested (possibly with a tongue firmly pressed against a cheek) having stimulus check payments.

"Covering topics like beauty contests, holiday funds, and life insurance, there is no denying the Monopoly game's Community Chest Cards are long overdue for a refresh," according to a press release from the company.

Fans can now vote on the new set of cards that revolve around topics like shopping at local stores, rescuing an animal, volunteering and donating blood. Let's see if stimulus payments make an appearance.

Spending federal stimulus money - Albany

A number of suggestions have been made to Times Union about how residents believe the federal stiumulus funds should be used. Chris Churchill grabs the opinions sent in.

"Many of you, not surprisingly, are concerned about potholes and crumbling roadways," he explained to his readers.

"May I strongly suggest that streets and sidewalks be repaired, especially streets like Pine Lane off Rapp Road, which is in terrible condition," wrote Lawrence D'Arco of Albany. "The benefits of infrastructure investment will last for a much longer time than many of the other ideas being floated."

Phil Broadwater, also of Albany, wrote: "Have you driven down any highly traveled streets in Albany recently? ... This road decay is everywhere, unchecked and unabated by the city."

Check out the other ideas put forward...

Report: A fourth stimulus check might be coming

There are reports of a possible fourth stimulus check. Here’s KCTV5's summary of what is known right now...

$3 trillion jobs stimulus package for Biden prepared

White House advisers are expected to present a two-part, $3 trillion jobs and infrastructure proposal to President Joe Biden as soon as this week, according to two people familiar with the plan. 

The proposal, which Biden's top advisers have been deliberating over for weeks, would be segmented into two separate parts -- one focused on infrastructure and clean energy, and a second focused on what's being termed the "care economy" with a focus zeroed in on key domestic economic issues.

In full, it would mark a sweeping move toward enacting the key elements of the "jobs" agenda that Biden laid out in large part during his campaign for president, with a suite of potential tax increases on corporations and the wealthy as options to finance any longer-term spending in the final proposal.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

Third stimulus check: how to check status with IRS Get My Payment tool

Stimulus-check recipients can use the IRS' Get My Payment tool to find out when their money will arrive. It's updated once a day, usually at night, with the latest information.

Find out more about the Get My Payment tool

Access the Get My Payment tool

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

$1,400 third stimulus check: where can I cash my payment?

Millions of Americans who don’t have a bank account are expecting a $1,400 stimulus check.

If you are one, here are some options to cash your check.

 

US NEWS

$1,400 third stimulus check: what is "IRS TREAS 310 - TAX EIP3"?

Direct-deposit recipients of the third stimulus check should find that their payment appears in their bank account labeled "IRS TREAS 310 - TAX EIP3", or something similar.

Full details

24 March the next direct-deposit payment date

The IRS said on Monday that the next batch of direct-deposit stimulus-check payments will be made on 24 March, adding that taxpayers who do not receive a check in their account by then should expect theirs to arrive by post in paper-check or debit-card form.

"The IRS continues to send the third round of stimulus payments in record time," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said. "Since this new set of payments will include more mailed payments, we urge people to carefully watch their mail for a check or debit card in the coming weeks."

IRS statement in full

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check: why is my stimulus being mailed?

As the Internal Revenue Service rushes to get eligible recipients their stimulus check for up to $1,4000, some will find that theirs arrives in the mail.

Here's why

"Under the American Rescue Plan, the typical family of four is getting a $5,600 check. That money helps folks keep a roof over their head and put food on the table. Help is here."

Joe Biden, US president

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

Does getting a third stimulus check affect the new unemployment benefits?

Among the key measures in President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief package are extended unemployment compensation and expanded tax provisions, including $1,400 stimulus payments to eligible recipients. With the US economy still missing 9 million jobs that existed before the pandemic, many Americans will be looking to take advantage of both.

More info

STIMULUS CHECKS

What proposals have there been for fourth stimulus check? How much would it be?

Eligible Americans across the country have begun to receive a third stimulus check as part of Joe Biden's Rescue Plan, but could another payment be on its way soon?

Full details

Yellen

US could return to full employment in 2022 on back of Biden stimulus package - Yellen

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will paint an optimistic picture for the US economy as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, telling lawmakers on Tuesday that she sees both growth and possibly full employment next year - due to President Joe Biden's coronavirus stimulus package.

Yellen, in written testimony prepared for delivery to the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said that with passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, "I am confident that people will reach the other side of this pandemic with the foundations of their lives intact. And I believe they will be met there by a growing economy. In fact, I think we may see a return to full employment next year."

Yellen said the Treasury, tasked with implementing much of the Biden stimulus plan and distributing the funds, was working to expedite relief to the areas of greatest need, including the smallest of small businesses, which are disproportionately owned by women and people of color.

The Treasury also is reducing some documentation requirements for struggling Americans to receive funds to help them make housing rental and mortgage payments in an effort to speed the implementation of a $30 billion housing aid plan. "We're cutting through the red tape for them, while still taking reasonable steps to prevent fraud and abuse," Yellen said.

Treasury is also working closely with state, local, tribal and territorial governments to implement $350 billion in aid to them, she said. Treasury officials said last week that the state and local government aid program, which is still setting rules on the use of funds, would start distributing money within about 60 days.

(Reuters; photo: REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo)

Biden in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday as 'Help is Here' tour continues

President Joe Biden will deliver remarks in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday as he continues to tour the US promoting the benefits of his $1.9tn coronavirus relief package.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

Can I get the third stimulus money if I got the first and the second payments?

The IRS is currently distributing the third round of stimulus checks but many will miss out due to the new eligibility requirements and income thresholds.

Find out more

Stimulus check updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our daily live feed bringing you updates on the round of stimulus checks of up to $1,400 included in President Biden’s $1.9tn covid-19 relief package. We’ll also be offering information on other economic-aid measures in the legislation, such as an expanded child tax credit that gives qualifying households up to $3,600 over a 12-month period.

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