Fourth stimulus news summary: Wednesday 28 April

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COMMENT
Fourth stimulus check live updates: child tax credit date, plus-up payments in third check, how to claim

US stimulus checks: latest news

Headlines:

- Joe Biden gave an upbeat speech to Congress in a Joint Address, talking up the impact the stimulus checks have had on American nation, full summary of the speech

- No word however on any further stimulus payments in Biden's speech

- IRS confirm that over 163 million stimulus payments have been issued so far with a total cost of around $384 billion

- US consumer confidence jumped to a 14-month high after stimulus check boost

- Time running down to file tax returns as 17 May deadline looms

- IRS confirm that another 700,000 'plus-up' stimulus checks went out this week (full story)

- Missing stimulus check money? Here's what to do

- Biden may include CTC extension in American Families Plan proposal

- You can track your third stimulus check by visiting the IRS' Get My Payment portal

- Stay across all the US vaccine news (live blog)

- US covid-19: 32.23 million cases / 574,313 deaths (live updates from Johns Hopkins University)

Scroll through some of our related articles:

IRS tax filing deadline looms

In March the IRS extended US filing deadline for individuals to 17 May (2021). This constituted an extra month for filers with the IRS taking into consideration additional burdens caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

grwoth

Government money seen powering U.S. economy in first quarter

U.S. economic growth likely accelerated in the first quarter, fueled by massive government aid to households and businesses, charting the course for what is expected to be the strongest performance this year in nearly four decades.

The United States' economy is rebounding more quickly compared to its global rivals, thanks to two additional rounds of COVID-19 relief money from Washington as well as easing anxiety over the pandemic, which has boosted domestic demand and allowed services businesses like restaurants and bars to reopen.

Though the anticipated pick-up in gross domestic product last quarter would leave output just below its level at the end of 2019, the economy remains at least a couple of years away from fully recovering from the pandemic recession, which started in February 2020.

No word on more stimulus 

There was no word from Joe Biden on any further stimulus amounts in his speech this evening to Congress. It very much feels as if he is throwing his full attention behind the American Jobs Plan and the infrastructure projects, and wants to grow the economy and jobs that way, rather than using up political capital (and money) seeking to send out more stimulus payments. 

Biden's speech to Congress

In President Joe Biden's speech to Congress this evening he talked up the effect of sending out $1,400 stimulus cheques, of which he says they've sent out 160 million so far. He says a single mom in Texas wrote to him saying the the relief cheque "put food on the table and saved her and her son from eviction".

He said the American Rescue Plan, which authorised the latest round of stimulus checks is one of the "most consequential plans" in American history and "we're already seeing the results". 

Biden, in his Joint Address to Congress tonight, saying that his American Rescue Plan, which authorised the latest round of stimulus cheques, is one of the "most consequential plans" in American history and "we’re already seeing the results."

 

He also tells America to "Go get vaccinated! You're eligible now!" 

US POLITICS

Biden addresses Congress live updates: American Families Plan, streaming online

President Biden's joint address to Congress

The president will address both houses of Congress at 9pm ET, in a joint address (it's effectively a State of the Union address, but is not called that in a president's first year).

Biden will be focusing on his response to the coronavirus pandemic and the economy, meaning some mention of stimulus plans is inevitable. He's also expected to go into detail on his American Families plan, and likely address the immigration crisis at the southern border as well as police reform, gun safety and a number of other major issues facing the country.

Stimulus and vaccinations help supercharge US economy 

Bloomberg - Fueled by government stimulus and a reopening economy, consumers likely supercharged US economic growth in the first three months of the year, posturing the world’s largest economy to soon reach pre-Covid levels of output. 

Gross domestic product is forecast to grow at a 6.7% annualized pace in the first quarter, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. That’s driven in large part by projections that consumer outlays accelerated to an annualized 10.5%, the second-fastest pace since the 1960s. 

Full story at Bloomberg

Don’t miss out on the “fourth” stimulus check 

The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law which President Biden signed into law early in March was packed with stimulus-related relief benefits for Americans. The most prominent in most minds was the third stimulus check for $1,400 made possible by the legislation. But there was also a $8,000 tax credit for working families that can be claimed next year.  

Addtionally, an expanded federal child tax credit that could give families as much as $3,600 in new stimulus checks for each eligible child in 2021. Biden has included a four-year extension of the measure in his American Families Plan which he will discuss this evening when he addresses Congress. 

Biden will boost IRS ability to crack down on tax evaders to help pay for stimulus packages

President Biden, looking to pay for his ambitious economic agenda and shift more of the nation’s tax burden to the wealthy, will propose giving the Internal Revenue Service an extra $80 billion and more authority over the next 10 years to help crack down on tax evasion by high-earners and large corporations.

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said recently that the US government is losing some $1 trillion in unpaid taxes every year and needs more and consistent Internal Revenue Service funding to go after tax cheats.

Poll finds public thins Biden is trying to find common ground for stimulus policies

President Joe Biden has been criticized by Republican lawmakers in Washington for passing the American Rescue Plan with only Democratic votes. As he pushes forward with the next two phases of his stimulus and recovery plans he has said that he wants bipartisan input but that he won't get bogged down by endless negotiations. 

A new poll shows that the public thinks he is trying, but that his GOP counterparts not so much. 

What is in the Biden's stimulus package for American families?

President Biden unveiled his $1.8 trillion plan to support the American family and rebuild the middle-class on Wednesday. This evening he will address a joint session of Congress to sell the plan to them along with touting his first 100 days in office. 

Republicans misjudged popularity of stimulus spending

MSNBC - As Joe Biden's presidency got underway in earnest, congressional Republicans took a risk by rejecting a popular Democratic COVID relief package. The proposal enjoyed such broad support, it was widely assumed that at least some GOP lawmakers would side with the American mainstream and vote for it. They didn't.

But to hear Republicans tell it, this wasn't much of a gamble. They thought its popularity would wane and could sell the public on the idea of tax and spend Democrats.

Months after the president signed the American Relief Plan, and families started seeing the benefits, the package continues to enjoy broad public support. 

Read more

Takeaways on Biden's stimulus bill for the American family

President Biden formally announced his American Families Plan on Wednesday, a $1.8 trillion proposal to give all Americans access to community college, preschool, affordable child care and paid leave, among other initiatives. He wants to fund it by increasing taxes on the rich.

Supporters and detractors are already lining up, but most agree on this: It’s an ambitious plan. And it will be a challenge to get Congress to pass it, especially after the $1.9 trillion stimulus package that was enacted in March and Biden’s more than $2 trillion infrastructure bill that Congress is starting to consider.

Read Heather Long's five takeaways on the American Family Plan at The Washington Post

BUILD BACK BETTER PLAN

Will $3,600 Child Tax Credit arrive with third stimulus or fourth?

President Joe Biden will address a joint session of Congress 28 April where he put forth the third part of his Build Back Better. Lawmakers are urging him to make the changes to the Child Tax Credit for 2021 permanent. However they may have to settle for a temporary extension.

Read the full story
 

Stimulus Checks

What ID can I use to cash stimulus checks?

If you want to cash your stimulus check you can do so at banks even where you are not an account holder or member, but you will need to bring ID.

Full details

Get My Payment

Track your stimulus check with Get My Payment

A reminder that you can track the status of your third stimulus check if it hasn't yet arrived by going to the IRS' online Get My Payment portal.

Take me to the Get My Payment tool

More information on the Get My Payment tool

White House will push families bill as stimulus spending

President Biden is expected to announce full details of the American Families Plan at his State of the Union address later this evening. The trillion-dollar package is thought to include federal funding for childcare assistance and an extension of the new Child Tax Credit system, amongst other features. 

The proposal from Biden is unlikely to get much support from Republican lawmakers who refused to vote in favour of the most recent stimulus bill when it was tabled. However polling data suggests strong support across the country for elements of stimulus spending and it appears likely that Biden will use tonight's speech to sell the Child Tax Credit expansion as a form of stimulus. 

Another wave of stimulus check payments made by the IRS

The federal government has confirmed that another 2 million stimulus check payments have been processed, with the money expected to start hitting bank accounts today. The majority of these payments will be 'plus-up' stimulus checks, providing additional cash for people who became eligible for a lager entitlement after filing their tax returns. 

In a statement, the Treasury Department and the IRS confirmed that a total of 163 million stimulus payments have been issued so far worth roughly $384 billion. The distribution effort will continue for the rest of the year as the returns are processed. 

US NEWS

What is the purpose of the State of the Union? Definition and meaning

Tonight President Joe Biden will gve his first speech to a joint session of Congress, a presidential tradition that is typically known as a State of the Union adddress. Biden is expected to use the event to outline his plans for the future, as well as reflect on successes from his first 100 days in office.

In little over three months Biden has passed the American Rescue Plan, sent out the third stimulus check payments and signed more than 60 executive orders. The speech will likely focus on the importance of that spending and will likely make the case for further legislative aims of his, like the American Families Plan. 

Read more

Child Tax Credit will be a key part of new families legislation

President Biden is reportedly set to announce details of his American Families Plan during his State of the Union address this evening. He will make his first address to a joint session of Congress and is expected to announce a trillion-dollar package which extended the Child Tax Credit (CTC) programme beyond the current 12-month duration. 

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado is a keen supporter of the new-look CTC and wants the provision to be made permanent by the new legislation. However it appears that Biden is only willing to extend the system for five years at the moment. 

GOP maintains opposition to stimulus spending

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has repeated his reluctance to support any further federal spending after trillions of dollars worth of relief has already been granted. Not a single GOP lawmaker in either House of Congress voted in favour of the stimulus bill when it was tabled last month, despite around 76% of Americans supporting it. 

This continued opposition to spending makes a fourth stimulus check look less likely, as Biden may not wish to pass another package using reconciliation. Some Republicans have spoken about the possibility of a stand-alone stimulus check bill in the past, but now there are trillions of dollars potentially going towards the infrastructure and families bills. 

Child Tax Credit boost will "pay for itself"

There have been growing calls for the new Child Tax Credit programme, which will provide monthly payments worth up to $300 per child, to be extended permanently, since the the new stimulus bill was passed in March. One of those supporting the move is confident that the benefits will far outweigh the cost. 

Democratic Sen. Sherron Brown has told reporters that he believes the proposal will pay for itself, citing a study which claims that childhood poverty costs the United States up to $800 billion per year. The new Child Tax Credit is expected to half that.  

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

IRS $3,000 child tax credit: when will the monthly payments begin?

The stimulus bill passed in March included several measures to help struggling American families. One of the measures that households began seeing immediately were the $1,400 stimulus checks, of which over 161 million have now been distributed. But families will soon begin seeing another direct payment coming their way.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan provides an enhanced Child Tax Credit that will send monthly payments worth up to $300 per child for eligible families. However the IRS is still in the middle of a busy tax season with supplementary stimulus check payments to be made, causing some concern that the introduction of the new CTC could be delayed. 

Read more

Biden bids for stimulus spending on massive scale

President Biden entered office with the aim of reversing the terrible economic cost that the pandemic has had on the US and the livelihoods of millions. In the early stages of his presidency he concentrated on getting direct support, whether in the form of stimulus checks or unemployment benefits, out to those in need, and the spending is not stopping. 

His recently announced American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan both adds trillions of dollars worth of spending to the federal budget. Avik Roy, President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity and policy editor at Forbes, points out that this is three times larger than Obama's response to the Great Recession. 

Tax return backlog could delay stimulus check payments

CBS News discuss the consequences of the huge backlog of IRS tax returns, which goes back to 2019 filings, and the impact that it could have on the distirbution of the third stimulus check. The IRS is in the process of sending out 'plus-up' payments for those who were underpaid for previous stimulus checks, but they have to work through the backlog before they can make those outstanding payments. 

Child Tax Credit extension will make some elements permanent

Considering that the new system has not yet been introduced, the Child Tax Credit expansion has garnered an awful lot of attention in Congress with Dem lawmakers pushing for the provision to be made permanent. It looks like the Biden administration will offer some of the new programme on a permanent basis, but not all. 

The new Child Tax Credit removes the low-income threshold which had prevented low-earners from getting the full amount, and this feature will be extended permanently. The new $250/$300 monthly payment system will also be extended, but only for around four years. The new CTC is expected to begin from July. 

WHITE HOUSE

How has the Biden administration been for the first 100 days of government?

When President Biden entered the White House he brought an ambitious agenda to change the United States, much of which relate to three key areas: coronavirus, racial equity and immigration. The first of the priorities related to a large-scale stimulus bill that he hoped would provide immediate relief. 

During campaigning for the Georgia runoff elections, Biden promised to send stimulus checks worth $2,000 if they were successful. However despite victories in both key seats, the stimulus checks were not exactly as promised in January. Here's how Biden's first 100 days went..

Read more

'Moderate' Biden passes more progressive stimulus spending

NBC News has reported that the American people beleieve Biden to be more moderate than the most recent Democrat in the Oval Office. An NBC poll released Sunday found that 44% saw Biden as "very" or "somewhat" liberal, while 42% see him as "moderate."

This puts Biden as less liberal than former President Barack Obama, despite Biden waving through trillions of dollars worth of stimulus spending. His $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan provided an historic change to the Child Tax Credit programme and the most generous stimulus checks to date. 

Biden has recently announced his $2.25 trillion infrastructure and jobs package, and is expected to unveil the American Families Plan at his State of the Union address this evening. 

"If we only extend the child tax credit temporarily until 2025, we will run the risk of putting families and children at the mercy of a Republican House or a Republican Senate or, heaven forbid, a Republican president."

Rep. Ritchie Torres, Democrat, New York

“The president will propose his plan. Congress is going to write the bill.

“And I’m so excited that my chairman, Richie Neal, announced his support for the permanent child tax credit today and all the work that he has done on this."

Rep. Suzan DelBene, Democrat, Washington

US NEWS

Third stimulus check: will there be a bonus payment?

The IRS are in the process of distributing ‘plus-up’ payments to taxpayers whose third stimulus check had already been automatically calculated and sent out using the income information in their 2019 federal tax return. Those who suffered a loss of income last year may be entitled to a larger check, based on the earnings detailed in their recently-processed 2020 return.

In a statement posted on its website on Thursday, the IRS said it had distributed another 700,000 ‘plus-up’ payments, worth around $1.2bn overall, in the latest batch of third stimulus checks to be sent out as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief package.

The IRS intend to continue making payments for the rest of the year, find out if you're in line to receive one. 

Read more

A look back at Biden's first 100 days

Since entering the White House President Biden has wasted little time in working on his top priorities. Immediate financial relief for those affected by the pandemic was his first major goal and the American Rescue Plan included both a third stimulus check and a complete overhaul of the Child Tax Credit system. 

Chris Jackson, former Democratic Party Chair and DNC Platform Committee Member for Biden in 2020, is enthusiastic about the President's work in the first 100 days. He also makes reference to the ongoing vaccination effort and the positive consequences of stimulus spending with strong early job creation figures. 

 

Will stimulus checks provide financial boost for tech firms?

The US government has approved record-breaking amounts of stimulus spending throughout the pandemic, opting to use federal mechanisms to boost the covid-struck economy. Key amongt those were the stimulus checks, and the third round of payments alone has seen around $380 billion head out the door. 

Reuters are reporting that tech giants like Facebook and Instagram are likely to benefit from the cash injection with businesses looking to improve their market visibility while consumer spending is up. The advertising revenues available to tech firms are a huge part of their business models and they have been given new impetus by the stimulus checks. 

Housing

Strong US housing market boosted by stimulus

Strong house-buying intentions suggest demand for homes could remain supported and continue to drive up prices as supply remains tight. The housing market is being powered by demand for more spacious accommodations for home offices and schooling.

A separate report on Tuesday showed the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller house price index jump 12% in February from a year ago, the fastest since February 2006 after rising 11.2% in January.

Accelerating house price inflation was corroborated by a third report showing the Federal Housing Finance Agency house price index shot up a record 12.2% on a year-on-year basis in February after increasing 12.1% in January.

vaccine

U.S. consumer confidence hits 14-month high

U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a 14-month high in April as increased vaccination against covid-19 and additional fiscal stimulus allowed for more services businesses to reopen, boosting demand and hiring by companies.

The upbeat survey from the Conference Board on Tuesday, which also showed a strong increase in vacation plans, suggested the economy continued to power ahead early in the second quarter after what appears to have been robust growth in the first three months of the year, believed by many economists to have been the second strongest since 2003. Growth this year is expected to be the best in nearly four decades.

"Consumers are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," said Ben Ayers, senior economist at Nationwide in Columbus, Ohio. "Led by strong spending as households return to eating out, traveling and visiting stores, the economy should surge ahead starting the second quarter and likely carrying into 2022."

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index raced to a reading of 121.7 this month. That was the highest level since February 2020, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and followed a reading of 109.0 in March. It as the fourth straight monthly increase in the index.

The United States has expanded vaccination eligibility to American adults, and more than half that population has had at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over a third of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated.

Joe B

Biden to push trillions in investment

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to unveil a sweeping $1.8 trillion package for families and education in his first joint speech to Congress on Wednesday, as he stresses the need to invest to compete with China, senior White House officials say.

Biden is expected to use the national speech to argue that the new package – which when coupled with an earlier infrastructure and jobs plan totals around $4 trillion, rivaling the annual federal budget – is vital to America's future.

The U.S. president will also plead directly with lawmakers to pass legislation to curb police violence, senior administration officials say. Biden will highlight repeated police killings of Black citizens and years of entrenched racism, while also honoring the service of the vast majority of officers.

The plan to be detailed on Wednesday includes $1 trillion in new spending over ten years on education and child care, and $800 billion in tax credits aimed at middle and low income families, according to senior White House officials.

"These are about the highest value economic investments we can make for our future economic competitiveness," said one senior administration official. Another official described it as a "once-in-a-generation investment."

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

When will the IRS finish making stimulus payments?

The IRS has until December 2021 to send all stimulus checks but many believe with the pace of delivery the tax authority will finish the job before then.

Joe B

Dollar rebounds as U.S. yields rise; Fed, Biden speech eyed

The U.S. dollar edged higher on Wednesday as investors moved to the sidelines ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy statement and a speech by Joe Biden later in the day where the U.S. president is set to announce more stimulus plans.

Biden is expected to roll out a plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, including the largest-ever increase in levies on investment gains, to fund about $1 trillion in childcare and other social spending.

IRS

Tax Day for individuals extended to 17 May

The IRS announced in March that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from 15 April 15, 2021, to 17 May.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated: "This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities".

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

What has the IRS said to do to claim a missing stimulus check and when it's coming?

If you have missed out on a previous stimulus check or are still waiting for the third, time is running out to take action so you can get the money.

US news

Biden’s first address to Congress after 100 days in office

After 100 days in office following his election victory over Donald Trump, Joe Biden will address a joint session of Congress for the first time this week.

US stimulus checks live updates: welcome

Welcome to our live stimulus-checks blog for Wednesday 28 April, bringing you the latest news on a possible fourth stimulus check, as well as up-to-date information on the third round of direct payments, which is a part of President Joe Biden's $1.9tn covid-19 relief bill.

We'll also provide info on other measures included in the aid package, such as enhanced unemployment benefits and the expanded Child Tax Credit, which gives households with children up to $3,600 per child dependent.

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