Fourth stimulus check news summary: 25 September 2021
Fourth stimulus check updates: 25 September
- Many federal programs including social security and SNAP benefits could be delayed if the government shuts down. (Full story)
- Petition to send a monthly stimulus checks nears 3 million signatures. (Full story)
- Federal agencies begin to plan for government shutdown. (Full story)
- Unemployment claims rose just before federal programs ended. (Full story)
- Could seniors see a fourth stimulus check? (Full story)
- One state announces program to provide unemployment benefits to self-employed people including "gig-workers." But will it actually? (Full story)
- Several states consider sending their own stimulus checks. (Full story)
- A potential government shutdown could delay the payments of Social Security benefits. (Details)
- New projections show possible 6.1% COLA increase for those on Social Security. (Full story)
- Several states are planning to send residents stimulus checks as chances of a new federal payment decrease. (Details)
- COLA update to Social Security benefits expected in October. How are payments determined? (Full story)
- California begins rollout of $1,100 stimulus check. Who is eligible? (Details)
Useful information / links
- Overview of the three stimulus checks passed by Congress (Full details)
- How to track your Golden State Stimulus check
- Third Child Tax Credit payments sent out (How to opt out of monthly CTC)
Take a look at some of our related news articles:
My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars.
Instead of wasting money on tax breaks, loopholes, and tax evasion for big corporations and the wealthy, we can make a once-in-a-generation investment in working America.
And it adds zero dollars to the national debt.
IRS explains September Child Tax Credit payment delay
Some parents were left wondering where their September Child Tax Credit payment was when it didn't appear in their bank account on the 15th as it was supposed to. The IRS had become aware of the issue and released a statement soon after to inform that it was looking into the matter.
It appears that the problem affected around two percent of recipients and was caused by taxpayers updating their banking information. The problem has been solved and the IRS began sending out the missing payments on Friday.
Dems $3.5tr social spending plan moves to Rules Committee
In a 20-17 vote the House Budget Committee approved the Democrats' $3.5 trillion spending proposal that would be the biggest expansion of the American social safety net since the 1960s. One Democrat, Representative Scott Peters joined Republicans in voting against advancing the spending proposal which has been put together over the past few weeks.
The bill which Democrats plan to pass using reconciliation to avoid a GOP filibuster in the Senate will now go to the House Committee on Rules.
What percent of private sector workers are offered paid sick leave?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in March 2021, 77% of workers had paid sick leave available. Of the lowest 25th percentile of wage-earners, only 12% had access to the benefit.
Additionally, the BLS found that "Twenty-three percent of private industry workers had access to paid family leave."
California Congresswomen Barbara Lee was interviewed on Meet the Press to discuss the progressive measures included in President Biden's agenda.
Negotiations over a spending bill have reached a breaking point on Capitol Hill and the US faces another government shutdown should a bill not be passed. Republicans have rejected moves to increase the debt ceiling, which has been done every year for more than a decade. It was increased each year under President Trump, whose presidency added over 7.8 trillion dollars.
What consequences would the government shutdown have?
Since 1980, the US federal government has shut down ten times, with the longest taking place over the course of thirty-five days between December 2018 and January 2019.
Shutdowns, especially for a government as large as the US, are logistically difficult and costly.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the most recent shutdown cost about five billion dollars.
About $3 billion had to be spent to pay back furloughed federal workers. An additional $2 billion in losses were reported by the IRS, which could not carry out tax compliance activities to reduce evasion. A smaller amount in losses was also reported by other agencies for fees, including those associated with the closure of national parks and other services.
Read our full coverage for more on the possible consequences of a government shutdown.
Could snap benefits be impacted by the government shutdown?
Yes. The White House released information saying that nearly $30 billion in food assistance, including SNAP benefits could be delayed if the government cannot avert a government shutdown.
Senator Bernie Sanders takes to the Senate floor to advocate for the extension of the current structure of the Child Tax Credit
Sen. Sanders, one of the key leaders pushing through the $3.5 reconciliation bill took to the floor to explain the benefits of extending the credit's current structure. He noted its potential to make serious cuts in child poverty rates now that it value has been increased, and a greater number of poor children are now eligible.
Could seniors see a fourth stimulus check?
The Senior Citizens League (SCL), an organization that advocates for the rights of seniors argue that the federal government should send $1,400 to Social Security beneficiaries who have seen their disposable incomes plummet during the pandemic.
For many of the more than 64 million people who receive Social Security, the benefits are their only source of income. This figure represents one in every six Americans and four out of five seniors.
Read more on the chances the measure passes in our full coverage.
Various petitions urging Congress to send stimulus checks to US households are gaining momentum
One that calls on Congress to send monthly checks worth $2,000 until the end of the crisis nears 3 million signatures. Another started by the Senior Citizens League which asks that a $1,400 check be sent to Social Security recipients has surpassed one million.
Read more in our full coverage
Why is the White House planning for a government shutdown?
Congress has less than five days to pass a spending bill or a government shutdown will be triggered
The United States federal government is an enormous bureaucracy that makes “shutting down,” a logistical nightmare. To prepare for a possible shutdown, the White House Office of Management and Budget periodically instructs agencies to write up contingency plans in case of a shutdown. Many of these agencies have updated their plans recently, because of the shutdown that occurred in 2018-2019.
Read our full coverage for more details on these plans and for information on which workers are repaid after a shutdown.
Despite remaining around pandemic lows, initial unemployment claims rose slightly by 16,000 to 351,000 last week. The four-week rolling average declined slightly, which counters the large week-by-week changes.
The claims rise comes as the extra unemployment benefits ended on Labor Day on September 6. A part of this was the extra $300 weekly payment and expansion to the number of weeks unemployed people can claim benefits. With this gone, many long term unemployed are now eligible for very little support.
How else can we explain that the United States has lifted more than 4 million children out of poverty over the past year? At a moment when our nation suffered the sharpest increase in overall poverty since the federal government began tracking that figure, we all chose to focus on the wellbeing of children. As a result, we could see the child poverty rate drop by 40 percent.
Some worry that these changes have taken away the work requirement for parents, thereby creating an incentive to stay home and pocket the money. But we don’t see that happening. In fact, we believe that in most cases, the money is being spent in the way it was intended — to support children.
Is there a wiser use of our resources — both from an economic and a moral standpoint — than to invest in our children? If we do, the awful tragedy of covid-19 can be turned into a small victory for all of our children — and our future.
Op ed from the Salvation Army in support of Child Tax Credit
The organization has been a major supporter of the Child Tax Credit, but there are worries for progressives that moderate Democrats could put limits on Biden's plan to extend them to 2025.
Quotes from its head, Kenneth Hodder, can be found above.
The ending of unemployment benefits is seeing many Americans struggling to pay rent and basic needs. This emergency has led some states to provide their citizens with extra economic boosters to help them get through the harsh situation. This booster will come in the form of stimulus checks and several other benefits to those who qualify for the payments.
If you are struggling to pay bills and are finding it difficult to find a job in such a poor market, you can maybe breathe a sigh of relief now that several states are announcing state financial aid.
Pelosi to bring both bills to bear next week
Despite the reconciliation bill being no closer to completion than it was a week ago to a week ago, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is determined to try and get both bills advanced this coming week.
The infrastructure bill is to be voted on in the House on Monday, but the party is still divided between left and right whether to support both bills. There has been no advance in negotiations in the last day.
Voters in support of key spending plans
A new poll, admittedly from allies of President Biden, has found voters in 10 key battleground States are in favor of the big spending plans that could be coming next week.
54% of voters are said to support the plan.
Fifty-four percent of respondents also voiced support for language in the package that seeks to expand Medicare benefits, compared to 34 percent who opposed. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Thursday warned against including that provision in the final version.
Joe Manchin under fire
With the passage of the Democrat agenda held up in Congress, people are looking for others to blame.
Due to the Democrats having a bare 50 seats in parliament, a single vote is as important as all. this means Senator Manchin has a lot of bargaining power, but his influence is angering progressives.
House Republicans to vote against infrastructure bill
House Republican leaders announced on Tuesday that they will whip votes against the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which was crafted by a bipartisan group of senators and passed with support from 19 Senate Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, last month.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy justified pushing his caucus to oppose a $1.2 trillion infrastructure proposal that passed the Senate.
“People have differences of opinion, but the one thing, I think, everybody now sees is what the bill passed in the Senate is a different situation now that it came to the House,” McCarthy said in a press conference on Thursday. “It’s one bill. So you're not voting for a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill, you're voting for a $5 trillion bill.”
Key agencies told to prepare for government shutdown
Just a few years after the last government shutdown, Washington is poised for another.
In the case Democrats and Republicans cannot reach an agreement, the President has called upon key leaders to prepare their agencies for a shutdown.
Republicans called out over government shutdown risk
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) joins Andrea Mitchell to discuss the impasse between Democrats and Republicans on the debt ceiling as a critical funding deadline approaches, and potential areas for compromise on the reconciliation bill between moderate and progressive Democrats.
"The Republicans take no responsibility and they don't care about the danger that a government shutdown will impose, and that we don't pay our debts as a country. But they are going to do it anyway," says Sen. Hirono.
"Everyone in America should know that this is the posture of the Republicans."
The US debt ceiling has been reached and Congress is at an impasse. The House has passed a bill to suspend the limit, but the Republican senators say they will not support the bill. This leaves the real risk of a government shutdown as well as the US being unable to repay debt payments in October.
Negotiations are ongoing and failure would also lead to the termination of the Democrat political agenda.
The country is teetering on a debt precipice which would cause an economic slowdown around the globe. The debt news comes as Chinese real estate giant Evergrande is close to bankruptcy, causing a slide on world stocks in the last few days.
Unemployment claims as federal programs end
The week before federal pandemic unemployment programs -- PEUC and PUA -- ended, there were more than 8 million people still claiming benefits. These individuals have now seen their incomes plummet.
As for the data from last week (ending on 18 September), initial unemployment claims increased by 16,000 to 351,000.
Which states saw increases in initial claims for the week ending on 11 September?
1. Louisiana (+4,318)
2. District of Columbia (+3,783)
3. Arizona (+3,739)
4. Maryland (+2,018)
5. Missouri (+1,658)
Which states saw decreases in initial claims for the week ending on 11 September?
1. Illinois (-7,481)
2. California (-5,950)
3. Ohio (-4,665)
4. Texas (-3,635)
5. Virginia (-2,357).
Read the full report here.
In 2020, around 74.2 percent of those receiving social security benefits were retirees. Those with disabilities comprised a little over 13 percent of beneficiaries, and families of deceased beneficiaries form the remaining recipients.
The average benefit amount was $1,544 for retirees and $1,277 for those with disabilities.
Find out all the latest from Maite Knorr-Evans.
Prices increase by 5.3%
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that since August 2020, the prices of goods and services have risen by an average of 5.3%.
However, much of these increases were driven by certain sectors and products like used cars, air travel, and gasoline.
Still, consumers are paying as much as 3% more for groceries which is hurting wallets across US households.
Which states saw an increase in unemployment claims for the week ending on 18 September?
Initial Claims (18 September)
Alaska (275), Arizona (1,693), California (24,221), Colorado (478), Delaware (95), District of Colombia (692), Hawaii (1,536), Illinois (964), Indiana (108), Iowa (363), Kansas (35), Kentucky (1,655), Maryland (1,587), Michigan (747), Minnesota (800), Nevada (327), New Jersey (680), North Carolina (2,900), North Dakota (49), Ohio (3,482), Oregon (3,331), Rhode Island (130), Utah (72), Vermont (21), Virginia (12,879), Wisconsin (1,200), and Wyoming (9).
The Child Tax Credit has been sent out since July and it has been very popular. Who wouldn't object to an extra $300 dollar in their bank account each month? Studies have proven its positive effects on recipients mental health, lifting millions out of poverty, and, surprising for some, an extra willingness to find work.
Three payments have been sent so far; July, August and September, with the next due in just over three weeks on 15 October. The opt-out date is on 4 October, so if you think it may be beneficial for you to opt out, then you must do so by this date..
Oli Povey brings you all you need to know.
Fourth stimulus check updates: welcome
Hello, good morning, and welcome to our daily stimulus check live feed for Saturday 25 September. We'll aim to keep you up to date with all the latest on the financial assistance programmes on offer in the United States.
Congress is currently in the process of debating President Biden's $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, which could also include a Child Tax Credit extension and additional unemployment benefits.