Fourth stimulus check news summary: Sunday 6 June 2021
US stimulus checks latest news live: Sunday 6 June 2021
- White House press secretary downplays likelihood of fourth stimulus check in near future (full story)
- New Child Tax Credit monthly payments set to start going out on 15 July
- 559,000 new jobs added in May, falling short of expectations (how does that affect chances of fourth check?)
- US families significantly helped by stimulus checks, report shows
- States offering Americans return-to-work bonus (find out more)
- California Comeback Plan seeks to expand Golden State Stimulus payment scheme to more residents
- Florida first responders, teachers in line for $1,000 stimulus check
- Petitions for recurring $2k stimulus checks surpasses 2.6m
- Many states ending $300 weekly unemployment-benefits boost early (full details)
- Track your third stimulus check with the IRS' online Get My Payment tool
Take a look at some of our related articles:
The previous three rounds of direct payments have seen up to $3,200 sent out to eligible Americans.
In a drive to get people back to work, many states have announced they will end federal pandemic unemployment benefits early, affecting millions of Americans.
The IRS has sent out over 167 million direct payments as part of the third round of stimulus checks, and will continue to make supplementary ‘plus-up’ payments for the rest of 2021 as they work through a backlog of tax returns.
It has been two and a half months since the third round of stimulus checks was signed into law when the American Rescue Plan was passed and already attention is turning to the prospect of a fourth stimulus check.
Many Democrats in Congress are pushing for further direct payments to be passed but Republicans appear unwilling to countenance another round of stimulus spending at the moment. With this in mind, how long have previous negotiations taken?
Millions of Americans who were laid off during the covid-19 pandemic benefited from state unemployment insurance and enhanced federal unemployment compensation. Democrats in Congress gave those individuals a federal tax break in the American Rescue Plan, but they have been waiting for their tax refund as the IRS adjusts their tax returns for the partial waiver on benefits received.
The Internal Revenue Service identified 13 million tax returns from individuals who may qualify for the $10,200 tax waiver on unemployment claimed in 2020. The agency has so far processed 3.1 million of those tax returns.
Child Tax Credit coming in July: Find out more
Families could receive a monthly payment of $300 per child under 6 and/or $250 per child under 18 at the end of the year. The monthly payments will cover half the total credit and next year when taxpayers file they can claim the remainder of the credit on their 2021 tax return.
However, if a family wishes they can opt out of the advance monthly payments and claim the whole credit as a lump sum when they file next year. The IRS has said that two online portals will be up and running no later than 1 July 2021. One portal will let parents choose to opt out of receiving the direct payments, the other to allow parents to update their family or financial circumstances.
Is it stimulus checks and unemployment or covid-19 fears?
WSJ - Grocery and restaurant executives say expanded unemployment benefits and federal stimulus checks are making it harder to find people willing to work at their stores. Surveys have shown some people say they aren’t working because they worry about spreading or contracting covid-19. Those concerns are acute in restaurants and supermarkets, where workers are indoors and interact with customers and colleagues who in many cases aren’t wearing masks.
Stimulus checks made life better for everyday Americans
The three Economic Impact Payments that the US government sent to households over the past year were different from other social safety net programs of the past. The direct cash transfers provided the recipients with flexibility on how they would use the funds and they were broad based.
Luke Shaefer, Director of Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, discusses the findings of a new analysis of US Census Bureau “household pulse” surveys which looks at how the stimulus aid impacted Americans.
Finance ministers from the G7 reached a deal that could bring hundreds off billions into government coffers emptied during the pandemic as stimulus funds were dished out to fight the economic crisis brought on by covid-19 restrictions.
The historic agreement will create a global minimum tax rate to prevent companies shifting profits to low-tax offshore havens. It will also see the largest multinational companies hit with a new tax.
Rollout of 2021 Child Tax Credit will require effort for it to met its purpose
The 19th - The promise from the Biden administration is big: One policy change would slash child poverty in half.
But months after a historic expansion of the child tax credit, it’s clear that delivering on that assurance is going to demand a complex, multi-agency effort quite unlike anything the federal government has done before. How successful that effort is could make a mark on Biden’s legacy.
Here's a radical idea: majority rule. Not a single Republican voted to provide a $1,400 direct payment to the working class or a $3,000 Child Tax Credit. The Senate passed this important legislation with 51 votes. We must do the same with the American Jobs and Family plans.
Stimulus checks letting Americans take dream vacations
The third round of stimulus checks, which saw eligible Americans receiving up to $1,400 each, caused a spike in people booking holidays. That money, depending on what it is spent on will vary compared to 2019 prices. Hotels are cheaper this year but those that need to rent a car will pay dearly due to the supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic. As for the cost of flying, prices have regained where they were two years ago.
Starting 15 July, the IRS will begin sending direct payments to parents for each eligible child much like they did with the stimulus checks that gave families a financial boost through the pandemic. These payments were included in the American Rescue Plan as part of other measures to reduce childhood poverty and help parents with the cost of raising a child.
Families can opt to receive any money they are due from the credit next year when they file their 2021 tax return instead of receiving direct payments, but without further action the additional money will be a short-lived affair. The American Rescue Plan only authorized the up to $3,600 tax credit per child for 2021, but President Biden has called for extending the credit and payments until 2025 as part of his American Families Plan, congressional Democrats would like to make both permanent.
A little inflation would be good for US economy
President Biden is proposing spending $4 trillion in the next two portions of his Build Back Better plan which has sparked fears of it pushing inflation up. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaking to Bloomberg said that President Biden’s spending proposal would be positive for the country, even if it leads to a rise in interest rates.
“If we ended up with a slightly higher interest rate environment it would actually be a plus for society’s point of view and the Fed’s point of view,” Yellen told Bloomberg.
“We’ve been fighting inflation that’s too low and interest rates that are too low now for a decade,” she said. Adding that if the spending packages on families and infrastructure help at all to “alleviate things then that’s not a bad thing — that’s a good thing.”
Stimulus checks improved the economy and people’s lives
As the US economy went off a cliff the authorization of the first round of stimulus checks kept many families from going under, who didn’t know when their next paycheck would come. Those $1,200 stimulus checks also gave the US economy a 0.6% bump according to the Congressional Budget Office.
No one thought that the pandemic would drag on as long as it has at first. The length of the pandemic and the financial hardship experienced by too many Americans finally got Congress to act by the end of 2020 authorizing yet another stimulus payment, this time for $600, seen by many as too little too late. Two months after President Biden took office a thris round of checks was going out the door for $1,400. The last two payments combined saw the number of Americans who didn’t have enough to eat drop by more than 40% from December 2020 to April 2021. And those who had problems paying their bilis declined by 45% during the same period. They also helped fuel a boost in consumer spending as people began to venture out once more.
Alabama garnishes inmates’ stimulus checks
In Alabama, the vast majority of state inmates are not paid for work they perform in prison. Yet incarcerated people in this state consistently report that they need funds to purchase commissary items vital to their physical health, hygiene and nutrition, from supplementary food items to toiletries and even clothing.
But many incarcerated people have little or no access to such items, as they rely on often-meager personal savings and the generosity of family members and friends. With the latest round of stimulus checks sent out, inmates are finding that the state is withholding money to cover fines, fees and restitution. These financial obligations are typically required to be paid in monthly installments after inmates are released from prison.
The first fifteen winners of the $50,000 cash prizes were selected at random by Governor Gavin Newsom at 10am on Friday morning, 4 June.
How states plan to spend stimulus money
"From $2,000 checks to aid for tourism and NASCAR, states have ambitious and varied ideas for spending stimulus money, beyond direct Covid relief." Check out Bloomberg''s in-depth report on how states plan to use the the stumulus money received as part of President Joe Biden's $1.9trn American Rescue Plan.
Cities and states make plans to spend $350 billion in stimulus funds
As funds from the American Rescue Plan are starting to make their way to state and local governments, officials are looking at how to best use the money. Their most urgent need is using the funds to address the impact of covid-19, provide relief to people and businesses and address their own financial straits caused by the pandemic.
However, some have found their tax revenue largely recovered and with businesses reopening they are able to dedicate money to other endeavors. Several states and cities are looking at providing recurring payments to their residents most in need.
House will start infrastructure bill Wednesday - Energy Secretary Granholm
The Democrat-led US House of Representatives will start the mark-up of an infrastructure bill on Wednesday, with or without Republican support, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told CNN on Sunday morning.
"The president still has hope, Joe Manchin still has hope," about getting crafting a bipartisan infrastructure bill with Republicans, Granholm said. "But I will tell you the House will start their markup on Wednesday." (Reuters)
2.6m sign petition for recurring $2k stimulus checks
Several Democratic lawmakers have been calling for Biden's administration to approve recurring $2,000 stimulus checks since February, but so far those appeals have fallen on deaf ears.
Calls from US voters continue to grow, with over 2.6 million people having signed an online Change.org petition calling for recurring $2,000 per month payments.
"It took nine months for Congress to send a second stimulus check, and just moments to spend it. Moving forward Congress needs to make recurring checks automatic if certain triggers are met," the petition reads.
IRS trying to recover stimulus checks sent to ineligible non-Americans overseas
"When Congress rushed to flood the U.S. economy with stimulus money during the pandemic, it prioritized speed over accuracy," reports NPR. "That decision resulted in the U.S. Treasury mistakenly sending more than a billion dollars in economic impact payments to dead people and to citizens of other countries who are not eligible for the money."
Now, the US tax authority is trying to recover that money, which is causing "legal mayhem" overseas. And at the same time that the IRS is making efforts to recoup stimulus check money, it continues to issue checks in error. See the full NPR report.
66% of unemployed considering changing field since being laid off
The coronavirus pandemic caused a rise in unemployment not seen since the Great Depression as much of the US was forced to shut down, with the unemployment rate reaching an all-time high of 14.8% in April last year. And many of those who were left jobless are yet to return to work.
The situation has prompted around 66% of unemployed adults to consider changing their occupation or field of work since being laid off. ABC spoke to a few of these people an in-depth report.
Study shows stimulus check significantly reduced hardship in the US
A new study has shown that a sharp fall in food shortages, financial stability and anxiety coincided with two most recent rounds of stimulus payments in January and March. The study estimates that there has been a 42% decline in food shortages; 43% decline in financial instability; and a 20% decline in anxiety & depression as a result of the stimulus payments. These figures will no doubt help to support calls for a fourth stimulus payment.
The previous three rounds of direct payments have seen up to $3,200 sent out to eligible Americans.
IRS distributes 2.8m more benefits-tax-break refunds
In a statement released on Friday, the IRS said it is this week paying out 2.8 million refunds to Americans who qualify for a tax break on 2020 unemployment insurance, but who had already paid taxes on their benefits.
As part of President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus package, which was signed into law in March, recipients of unemployment benefits last year can get a tax waiver on the first $10,200 in jobless compensation paid to them last year (see post below for further information).
"IRS efforts to correct unemployment compensation overpayments will help most affected taxpayers avoid filing an amended tax return," the agency said. "So far, the IRS has identified 13 million taxpayers that may be eligible for the adjustment.
"Some will receive refunds, which will be issued periodically, and some will have the overpayment applied to taxes due or other debts. For some there will be no change."
The American Rescue Plan provided a significant tax break for those who received unemployment benefits during 2020, but some are having to wait for the payment.
Some Americans opting out of monthly CTC payments
The American Rescue Plan provided a complete overhaul of the Child Tax Credit scheme, which had previously provided a single end-of-year credit worth up to $2,000 per child. The new system is not only more generous, but will also distribute the money in the form of monthly direct payments starting in July.
However, parents can also choose to receive the federal support, which is worth up to $3,600 per child, as a lump sum in 2022.
Child Tax Credit calculator
If you're wondering how much you may be eligible for as part of the expanded Child Tax Credit, Forbes magazine has created a CTC calculator that you may find useful.
Some states are offering residents a bonus of up to $2,000 for returning to work, coming as a number of Republican-led states announce they are ending federally-funded unemployment programmes.
An estimated 3.7 million people will be affected by the removal of the enhanced benefits, which some business owners have blamed for a perceived labour shortage.
To further encourage unemployed Americans back to the workplace, a number of states are also introducing so-called ‘return to work’ bonuses, which offer a cash incentive for those who find employment.
The IRS has said that monthly payments of the new, expanded Child Tax Credit will begin on 15 July - but what do you need to do to receive it?
Stimulus checks: every AS English article
In our dedicated stimulus checks news section, you'll find a host of articles offering updates on a possible fourth direct payment, as well as information on the third round of checks, approved in March as part of President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief package.
We look back over the three federal stimulus checks sent out by the US government since the covid-19 pandemic began in early 2020.
A new study from the University of Michigan examined the impacts the three stimulus checks sent by Congress and found that the additional income helped many keep food on the table and a roof over their head.
Yellen urges G7 to keep up fiscal support, sees inflation as transitory
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Saturday urged her G7 counterparts to keep up fiscal support for their economies, despite "transitory" inflation that she said will remain elevated through the rest of the year.
Yellen told a news conference after G7 finance ministers met in London that fiscal support was still needed to bolster economic recovery from the covid-19 pandemic and to make needed investments to fight climate change and inequality.
While G7 countries have had robust fiscal responses to the pandemic, she said "there is a concern among some about fiscal sustainability, and an evident desire to begin to withdraw accommodation when things are back on track," Yellen said.
"And we think that most countries have fiscal space, and have the ability to put in place, fiscal policies that will continue promoting recovery and deal with some of the long run challenges that all of us face when it comes to climate change and inclusive and sustainable growth, and we urge countries to do that," she said.
In prepared remarks for the post-meeting news conference, Yellen also praised an agreement to pursue a global minimum tax of at least 15% on corporations as helping to stabilize tax systems while preserving national authority to set tax rates and policies.
Yellen said inflation will remain elevated at 3% on a year-over-year basis until about the end of 2021.
"I personally believe that this represents transitory factors," she said, adding that production bottlenecks have caused elevated prices in some industries, such as motor vehicles, while other prices, such as airline fares, are rising back to more normal levels.
There is still slack in the labor market, she said, because of people who have lost jobs permanently, and it will take a while to reabsorb those workers into the economy.
"So we shouldn't expect this process to be complete in a month or two," Yellen said. "And while we're seeing some inflation, I don't believe it's permanent."
Yellen said the G7 finance ministers agreed to ambitious commitments to de-carbonize their economies and mobilize public and private finance for action to combat climate change.
"To facilitate the mobilization of private climate finance, the G7 also agreed to take action to improve the availability of consistent, comparable, and decision-useful climate-related financial information to market participants," Yellen said in prepared remarks.
In a drive to get people back to work, many states in the US have announced they are ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits early - affecting millions of Americans.
Struggling households across American hoping for another stimulus check to cover expenses were told it’s probably not in the cards for now when Jen Psaki downplayed the likelihood of a fourth stimulus check in the near future. However, those that own a home and have fallen behind on their mortgage or utilities might be able to access funds from the stimulus bill passed in March.
Speaking to reporters this week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki sought to downplay the likelihood of a fourth stimulus check being sent out in the US in the near future, noting that President Joe Biden is focusing on other priorities.
Stimulus checks live updates: welcome
Hello and welcome to our daily live blog on stimulus checks for Sunday 6 June 2021. We'll be providing you with updates on a potential fourth stimulus check, plus information on the third direct payment, which the IRS began distributing in March. You'll also find news on other economic-aid programs such as the expanded Child Tax Credit, which gives qualifying parents up to $3,600 per child over a 12-month period.