Fourth stimulus check | news summary for Thursday 29 July

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Fourth stimulus check and child tax credit live updates: is a new payment coming? Opt-out, eligibility, tax refund...

US stimulus checks: live updates: 29 July

Headlines

- Lawmakers reach deal on new $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill (Details)

- Does the new Bipartisan agreement include more stimulus money or tax breaks? (Details)

-$1,000 stimulus checks for educators, how to claim (Details) & who is getting them? (Details)

-Unemployment claims increase by more than 500,000, as delta variant spreads rapidly (Full report)

- Have stimulus checks and Child Tax Credit payments caused a rise in inflation and price increase? (Details)

-Will a fourth stimulus check be included in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package? (Details)

Useful information / links

What is IRS TREAS 310 and how is it related to 2020 tax returns? (Details)

IRS Child Tax Credit portal: how can I use it to opt out? (Details)

How much money can you get from stimulus checks and the Child Tax Credit? (Calculate)

Child Tax Credit |  When is the deadline to opt-out of the August payment? (Details)

US Congress 101 | What is a reconciliation bill and how is it different from a normal bill? (Details)

Unemployment | Will benefits be reinstated in states that have ended them because of the delta variant? (Details)

Still waiting for your tax refund? Find out when to contact the IRS

Have a read of some of our related news articles:

Which cities saw the largest decreases in unemployment in June?

The Department of Labor has just released data on the the unemployment rate for urban areas from June. The unemployment rate was lower in "386 of the 389 metropolitan areas and higher in 3 areas," compared to June of last year.

At 2.4% unemployed, the Logan area of Utah and Idaho had the lowest rate, while Yuma, Arizona saw the highest at 20.4%. When compared to the national unemployment rate which stood at 6.1% in June, 261 areas recorded lower rates, 124 areas saw higher rates, and 4 stood at 6.1%.

To learn more check out the link to the interactive tool the department put together.
 

Paid leave credit available to employers

The IRS announced this week that eligible employers can claim the credits for providing leave to employees to accompany a family or household member or certain other individuals to obtain immunization relating to Covid-19 or to care for a family or household member or certain other individuals recovering from the immunization.

The paid sick and family leave credits reimburse eligible employers for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave for reasons related to Covid-19. This includes leave taken by employees to care for certain individuals to obtain immunization relating to Covid-19 or to recover from immunization relating to Covid-19. This new reason for paid sick or family leave also applies for the comparable credits for self-employed individuals. Self-employed individuals may claim comparable credits on the Form 1040, their individual income tax return.

 

A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role

Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO

Coronavirus

When would it be necessary to have the third covid-19 vaccine?

Pfizer and J&J pushing for Autumn booster dose

Vaccine companies are publishing testing results arguing for the need for a third round of vaccines to stop the spread of the Delta variant.

Pfizer published information in its Q2 report saying protection against the Delta variant was five times higher in adults aged up to 55 who got a third dose of the vaccine. For older age groups, the third dose could provide 11 times more protection against the Delta variant.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are currently seeking FDA approval to distribute a third dose. Israel has become the first country to authorise a third dose, also using the Pfizer vaccine.

“You don’t have a choice to go out and drink and drive and put everybody else’s lives at risk. That’s the equivalent of this moment with the deadliness & efficiency of the Delta variant virus.”

Gavin Newsom, Governor of California

Coronavirus

Vaccine mandate on federal workers: what other measures are included?

New York and California have imposed mandatory vaccines on their federal workers, starting in August.

The move is an attempt to reenergise the vaccine rollout as it has slowed down to a crawl across the country.

President Biden has encouraged states to offer a $100 gift to people who come forward to be vaccinated. Just under 50% of of the American population are fully vaccinated.

Members of the House of Representatives say that the Senate's infrastructure will will need serious revisions. CNN's Manu Raju reports that Rep. Pete DeFazio said that it "was written by three people who have no knowledge of or expertise in transportation infrastructure.”

CORONAVIRUS

US Coronavirus: Where are cases increasing the fastest?

Negations over the Bipartisan infrastructure package are heating up on Capitol Hill. Will the increase in covid-19 cases help or hinder its passage... only time will tell. However, one thing we do know is where cases are rising -- fast. Read our coverage to find out.

 

Which cities saw the largest decreases in unemployment in June?

The Department of Labor has just released data on the the unemployment rate for urban areas from June. The unemployment rate was lower in "386 of the 389 metropolitan areas and higher in 3 areas," compared to June of last year.

At 2.4% unemployed, the Logan area of Utah and Idaho had the lowest rate, while Yuma, Arizona saw the highest at 20.4%. When compared to the national unemployment rate which stood at 6.1% in June, 261 areas recorded lower rates, 124 areas saw higher rates, and 4 stood at 6.1%.

To learn more check out the link to the interactive tool the department put together.
 

Has the pandemic impacted the wage gap?

According to new data from the BLS, men made more money than women across all age groups in the second quarter of 2021. The gap is smallest between 16 to 34... but then the divide really starts to deepen.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released a new report titled "Impact Of The Coronavirus Pandemic On Businesses And Employees By Industry."

The report highlights covid-19 has had on businesses in the US, including, how they "saw their supply chains interrupted,
demand for their products and services decline, shortages in supplies and inputs, and government-mandated closures."

Which sectors continued to pay employees that were not working at the highest rates?

Employing over 2 million people, the Finance and Insurance sector paid 76% of establishments "continued to pay
some or all employees that were told not to work
." Across the economy, the researchers found that "about 43.5 million employees worked in establishments that paid at least some workers while they were not working."

Read the full report here.

Democrats strive to ensure Child Tax Credit extends to 2025

Most recipients of the Child Tax Credit have received their first payment, with the next coming in two weeks. The President has made it a priority that the payments continue due to the help they are providing families to lift  themselves out of poverty.

It is estimated that 1 in 7 American children live in poverty.

And Democrats have taken to Twitter to profess their support for the extension. Lawmakers are facing a crucial week in with the bipartisan Infrastructure bill making headway while Senior Democrats like Nancy Pelosi don't want the rest of the Democrats' plans to be overshadowed by the bill.

BIPARTISAN INFRASTRCURE PLAN

What does the new Bipartisan agreement include? Who helped lead the effort?

What does the new Bipartisan agreement include? Who helped lead the effort?

On Wednesday, the Senate voted to begin debate over an infrastructure package negotiated between a group of bipartisan Senators and the White House. The announcement that the discussions had wrapped up was welcome news to many on Capitol Hill looking forward to their summer recess. 

The bill, which includes some elements of the American Jobs Plan (AJP), is much smaller in scale and scope. The IIJA proposes $550 billion of new federal spending, focusing on investments in physical infrastructure.

Read our full coverage for more details on who led the effort and what exactly the package includes.

What does the latest unemployment claims report show?

The Department of Labor released their weekly unemployment claims report which shows that for the week ending on 24 July, stood at "400,000, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week's revised level."

Total claims increased more than by 500,000 for the week ending on 10 July, 13,156,252. While this does represent one of the largest increases in weeks, the level is still much lower than the "31,898,353 weekly claims filed for benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2020."

Which states saw the largest increase in initial claims?

1. Michigan (+13,547)

2. Texas* (+10,730)

3. Kentucky (+8,945)

4. Missouri* (+6,056)

 5. Illinois (+3,915)

What states saw the largest decreases in initial claims?

1. New York (-10,727),

2. Puerto Rico (-3,904),

3. Tennessee* (-3,510),

4. Oklahoma* (-3,393), 

5. Georgia* (-1,870).

*bold states have or plan to end federal pandemic related unemployment benefits.

US NEWS

Will the new Bipartisan agreement include new stimulus money or tax breaks?

Will the new Bipartisan agreement include new stimulus money or tax breaks?

The text of the Bipartisan Infrastructure package, which has officially been named the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) has yet to be released. However, with debate over the proposal beginning in the Senate, details over what Democrats and Republicans agreed to are trickling out.

At this point, the IIJA does not include funding for a fourth stimulus check.

The group of Senators who worked on the package eliminated over $386 billion worth of clean energy tax credits. These credits were designed to assist individuals, municipalities, and businesses transition to clean energy sources and options, such as solar panels or electric vehicles and buses.

Read our full coverage for more on what aspects of the American Jobs Plan were scrapped from the bill.

17 Republicans vote to begin debate over the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Yesterday, Donald Trump made his opposition to the package public saying that it would be a "loser" for Republicans.

ABC reports on unemployment claims which dropped 24,000 over the previous weeks levels.

IRS prompts non-filers

The Internal Revenue Service advises non filers to complete their tax return immediately and reduce the possibility of fines

Cities across the US prepare for the ending of the federal eviction moratorium. Some officials worry that the 31 July deadline could lead to a massive wave of evictions across the country.

Right-wing commentators have taken aim at Joe Biden for using taxpayer's money to promote his administration's enhanced Child Tax Credit initiative.

"The IRS is sending 'political' mailers on behalf of @JoeBiden. At least when Trump put his signature on the stimulus checks, it didn’t cost extra in postage. Our tax dollars, hard at work," tweets Breitbart's Joe Pollak.

Half of states have already ended federal unemployment benefits. The program will end in all states on 6 September and leaders are already worried as unemployment could tick up as the delta variant surges across the country. Where are cases increasing the fastest? Read our full coverage.

Do foster families receive the Child Tax Credit?

Senator from Georgie Jon Osoff tweets about families who foster children and how the expansion of the Child Tax Credit has helped them.

There are a lot of people in our country, working-class people, who are losing faith in the ability of government to address their needs. And what we are doing is just that. Can you imagine in this country where you have free pre-K for every working family in America? We're going to have — end the disgrace of the United States being the only major country on Earth not to have paid family and medical leave.”

Senator Bernie Sanders, speaking to PBS about his proposed $3.5trn reconciliation bill

The 17 Republicans who voted in favor of infrastructure bill

Seventeen Republican senators voted in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure deal, along with all 50 of their Democrat counterparts. It has been hailed as a big win for a win for President Biden and the bipartisan group of negotiators.

Here are the names of those 17 Republican senators who sided with Democrats:


Roy Blunt (Mo.)

Richard Burr (N.C.)

Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.)

Bill Cassidy (La.)

Susan Collins (Maine)

Kevin Cramer (N.D.)

Mike Crapo (Idaho)

Lindsey Graham (S.C.)

Chuck Grassley (Iowa)

John Hoeven (N.D.)

Mitch McConnell (Ky.)

Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)

Rob Portman (Ohio)

James Risch (Idaho)

Mitt Romney (Utah)

Thom Tillis (N.C.)

Todd Young (Ind.)

FOURTH STIMULUS CHECK

Fourth Stimulus Check: Is another payment included in the reconciliation bill? 

Fourth Stimulus Check: Is another payment included in the reconciliation bill? 

As negotiations over the bipartisan infrastructure plan stall, Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The proposal includes many popular measures that were left out of the infrastructure plan put together by over twenty Democratic and Republican Senators.

Petition for recurring $2k stimulus checks surpasses 2.7m

A change.org petition calling for recurring monthly $2,000 stimulus checks is edging closer to its 3 million-signature target, and has now surpassed 2.7 million signatures. You can sign the petition here.

"Our country is still deeply struggling. The recovery hasn’t reached many Americans – the true unemployment rate for low-wage workers is estimated at over 20% and many people face large debts from last year for things like utilities, rent and child care," reads the petition mission statement.

"These are all reasons that checks need to be targeted to people who are still struggling and that Congress needs to learn from this past year. 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. No more waiting around for our government to send the help we need. Sign to join our movement to get recurring checks to the people."

Celebrations after lawmakers reach deal on bipartisan infrastructure bill

Lawmakers in Washington were in a celebratory mood after reaching a deal on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Wednesday...

Are stimulus checks a good idea?

Why isn't President Biden pushing for a fourth stimulus check? This video from Vox explores some of the reasons why leading economists are not actually in favour of the direct payments. They argue that the sudden influx of cash can serve to over-inflate the American economy and leave people out of pocket further down the line. 

Millions of children lifted out of poverty by the Child Tax Credit

There are hopes that the new Child Tax Credit could have a significant impact on poverty in the United States after the first round of payments went out earlier this month. The White House had previously claimed that the new programme could halve the number of children living in poverty over the course of its initial one-year duration. 

That may be optimistic, with some low-income families struggling to receive the support, but there is a clear appetite amongst Democrats in Congress to see it extended. 

Stimulus Checks

$1000 stimulus check for educators: how to claim it if I haven't received it

$1000 stimulus check for educators: how to claim it if I haven't received it

Teaching staff have been at the forefront of the pandemic, either with dangerous in-person teaching or preparing classes to teach online. It has been a tumultuous 18 months for the profession and it isn't going to get much easier soon. The CDC, for example, now recommends that all students in grades K-12 wear masks in the classroom regardless of their vaccination status.

As a way to show appreciation for their efforts, and to help retain teachers and staff, states have been approving one-time “thank you” using federal stimulus funds.

 

Read our full coverage for more details on how to claim your check.

US NEWS

Disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar has received $2,000 in stimulus checks

Why did Larry Nassar receive stimulus checks?

Nassar is eligible to receive the checks under federal law. However, lawyers and officials began to notice that while his income from behind bars grew, Nassar had failed to pay restitution to several victims. Since being imprisoned, he has received over $13,000 in income, of which the $2,000 comes from federal stimulus checks.

As a part of Nassar’s judicial ruling, the courts determined that he would be responsible for compensating many of his victims.

Read our full coverage for more details on what he owes his victims and what he has paid so far.

Stimulus check live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our daily live blog for Thursday 29 July, bringing you updates on a potential fourth stimulus check in the United States.

We'll also offer information on the third stimulus check, which began going out in March, as well as economic-support measures such as the new, expanded Child Tax Credit. Stay with us throughout the day for regular updates.

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