Fourth stimulus check news summary | 2 November 2021
- New reconciliation bill likely to fall short of progressives' Medicare expansion hopes
- Recipients of SNAP/CalFresh will get a benefits increase
- Florida to offer $5,000 check to police that relocate, targeting those trying to evade a vaccine mandate.
- More than 4.5m Californians have received their Golden State stimulus checks
- Will Social Security recipients receive a fourth stimulus check?
- The Social Security COLA increase will go into effect on 30 December 2021.
- Increased calls for fourth stimulus check as inflation sees prices rise
Useful information & Links
Child Tax Credit
- Next round of Child Tax Credit payments will go out on 15 November
- Fourth stimulus check: the situation in every US state
- Petition calling for $2,000 recurring checks nears 3m signatures
- Open enrollment continues through 7 December
- What are the differences between Medigap and Medicare Advantage: the lowdown
- Social Securitypayment schedule for 2021
- Calculating your Social Security benefits
Despite knowing that at this time it is a long shot, the Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan advocacy group, has started a pressure campaign to push Congress to send those receiving Social Security additional stimulus money. In a letter to leaders of Congress TSCL Chairman Rick Delaney called for a one-off $1,400 Social Security stimulus payment for seniors.
The proposal came after the group heard from seniors telling of the hardships that they face from the highest inflation in decades in the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic. Many have expressed a feeling of abandonment from the government telling TSCL “our government has forgotten about us.”
Democrat bills could cut tax on most wealthy
Although it wasn't addressed in the framework, some observers expect the Democrat package will eventually include a repeal of the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes, known as SALT. Some Democrats have said they won't vote for the legislation without action on the SALT cap, which has been a particular issue in California, New York, New Jersey and other high-tax states.
The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found in an analysis released Friday that repealing the SALT cap would more than offset the planned tax hikes on the rich.
"A two-year SALT cap repeal -- if included -- would reduce taxes on the top 5% of earners by over $70 billion" in fiscal 2023, the CRFB said.
Democrats due to lose Virignia governor election
In a state that Biden carried by 10 points, The Democrats have lost the governorship of Virginia.
Centrist-candidate Terry McAuliffe was beaten by Glenn Youngkin, a candidate backed by former President Trump. The vote, which has not yet been fully counted, would represent a huge blow for the Democrats. They have yet to pass any serious legislation this year outside of stimulus checks, which had already been passed twice under the Trump presidency.
Although the Social Security Administration announced in October that next year Social Security benefices would see a 5.9% increase in their benefit amounts, many believe more action is needed. Many seniors feel totally left behind by their government as they struggle to make ends meet. With prices still climbing, many are worried the increase will not be able to stabilize their financial situation.
In a letter to leaders of Congress TSCL Chairman Rick Delaney called for a one-off $1,400 Social Security stimulus payment for seniors.
In a letter to leaders of Congress TSCL Chairman Rick Delaney called for a one-off $1,400 Social Security stimulus payment for seniors. The proposal came after the group heard from seniors telling of the hardships that they face from the highest inflation in decades in the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic.
Read our full coverage for more details on the possible fourth direct payment for seniors.
What programs will be included in the reconciliation bill?
The CRFB releases graphics that illustrate the breakdown in programs that will be included in the latest version of the $1.75 reconciliation bill.
Bureau of Economic Analysis releases data on personal savings, income, and consumption
The BEA has released new data evaluating savings, income, and consumption in September. The data shows that since the third stimulus check was sent, these rates have remaining rather steady. However, the data does show a decrease in personal savings.
In describing the data, researchers said "Personal income decreased$216.2 billion, or 1.0 percent at a monthly rate, while consumer spending increased$93.4 billion, or 0.6 percent, in September."
Compensation in hospitality and leiausre are on the rise
In August, 4.3 million workers quit their job. The majority of those who quit came from the leisure and hospitality and food service sector. The BLS has now reported that through September 2021, compensation in the leisure and hospitality sector has increased 6.9%. Business owners may be increasing pay to attract and retain workers.
When will the next Child Tax Credit paymnet be made?
Families can expect the second to last payment of the year on 15 November. The last payment will be made on 15 December.
Families will then claim the reamining value of the credit when they file their taxes in the spring.
IRS sends corrected returns to those who over paid in taxes
The IRS has announced that it has sent corrected to returns to over 400,000 tax payers who over paid in taxes because they submitted their returns before the passage of the American Rescue Plan. The ARP allowed for those who had received unemployment to reduce the amount of compensation they claimed. In a press release, the agency the reported that the latest batch "of corrections affected over 519,000 returns, with 430,000 taxpayers receiving refunds averaging about $1,189."
White House releases final price tags for each measure included in the reconciliation bill
While the final text of the bill has not been released, the White House has provided figures on how much will be allocated for each. This includes more than half a trillion dollars to fight climate change, down signigicantly from the initial $3.5 trillion plan.
Sen. Joe Manchin "pleads" for more time
After weeks of negotiations, Democrats thought they had a deal... however this may not be the case after Joe Manchin stated that he wanted more time to understand the impacts of the $1.75 trillion reconciliation package. Without Manchin, the bill cannot pass, meaning that the package could fail after many assumed it would be voted on this week.
Back in July Gov. Gavin Newsom passed a $100 billion package known as the California Comeback Plan, which was designed to kick-start the state’s economic recovery. The bill, largely funded by the previous year’s record-breaking $75 billion budget surplus, funds various state-wide programmes and initiatives.
Key amongst them is a round of Golden State stimulus checks, which is expected to send direct payments to around two thirds of state residents.
Stimulus checks on the way for 1.15 million Californians
The California Franchise Tax Board (CFTB) has confirmed that the next round of state-wide stimulus check payments were sent out from 1 November, but could take up to three weeks for the paper checks to arrive.
The latest reports from the Capitol suggest that the Child Tax Credit monthly payments will not end after December, as some had feared, but hopes of a four-year exention as the White House had wanted appears unlikely. The final legislation for President Biden's Build Back Better agenda has not yet been finalised but extending the monthly payments for families is known to be a key priority of Biden's.
Manchin unconvinced by Medicare expansion proposals
Sen. Joe Manchin will likely have a huge say on the exact parameters of the final reconciliation bill that is put to the floor in the Senate, being one of two moderate Democrats who have yet to commit their support to the package.
Progressive lawmakers had hoped to include a significant Medicare expansion in the legislation which would have seen hearing, dental and vision coverage included in certain programmes for the first time. Manchin has warned that he will not support any proposals which cannot be properly funded.
Households could be excluded by new childcare subsidies
The People's Policy Project have analysed the childcare benefits included in the reconciliation bill and found that over half of Black children in the United States could be excluded. Researchers argue that the structure is flawed, because it would allow states to opt into the program.
Based on the reluctance of some states to expand Medicaid, the authors say "children in those states will be effectively excluded from the child care program." This ability for states to turn away federal funds could have a disproportionate impact on Black children and based on their modeling they estimate that "44.6 percent of children end up not receiving any child care benefits, including 56.8 percent of black children."
How much can I get from the Child Tax Credit?
Earlier this year the American Rescue Plan introduced a huge expansion of the Child Tax Credit programme that had been in place since the Clinton Administration. For the remainder of 2021 the credit will be distributed in the form of a direct payment, sending up to $300 per child to eligible families.
Manchin reluctant to support spending bills
"As more of the real details outlined in the basic framework are released, what I see are shell games, budget gimmicks that make the real cost of the so-called $1.75 trillion bill estimated to be almost twice that amount, if the full time is run out, if you extended it permanently."
"And that we haven't even spoken about. This is a recipe for economic crisis."
In mid-October the Social Security Administration announced a historic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to benefits for 2022. The 5.9 percent COLA increase is the highest in forty years due to higher than normal inflation brought on by multiple factors resulting from the covid-19 pandemic.
But when will Social Security recipients start to see that boosted payments?
Confidence in Biden's Build Back Better proposals
Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois has told CNN that she believes that Se. Joe Manchin will be convinced to support the legislative proposals put forward by President Biden, and supported by the vast majority of the Democratic caucus in both Houses of Congress. The Child Tax Credit extension is thought to be a major sticking point, with Manchin reluctant to support anything more than a single year extension.
Around nine million people are eligible to receive the state-funded direct payments after the requirements were expanded in July. The next batch of Golden State stimulus checks will be sent on 1 November, but given that most of the remaining payments are physical checks the California Franchise Tax Board have warned that it could take up to three weeks for them to arrive.
Manchin concerned with Social Security and Medicare spending
In a Washington speech on Monday evening, Sen. Joe Manchin outlined his concerns about the multi-trillion reconciliation package proposed by Democrats in the House. Manchin will be a crucial vote if the reconciliation bill is to be passed but is currently unwilling to support some of the more ambitious elements.
How have stimulus checks affected Social Security claims?
Heather Long is a economics reporter at the Washington Post and has shared a graph showing that the number of Americans claiming Social Security payments appears to be tailing off. If individuals are able to delay their first Social Security claim then they will receive a higher monthly payment when they do start to get the money. Long suggests that the influx of cash from stimulus checks may have influenced this trend.
"The American Rescue Plan was designed to spur rapid recovery & prevent scarring in our economy. Now we have an opportunity to create long-term growth across our economy with Build Back Better, lower living costs for American families, & make historic investments in the middle-class".
The White House believes Congress could find agreement on President Biden’s huge Build Back Better agenda within the coming days. Biden appears willing to reduce expenditure on certain programmes, like the Child Tax Credit and Medicare expansion, to find a compromise.
Biden has held numerous meetings with lawmakers in an attempt to find a compromise to satisfy his disparate caucus, and to secure the passage of a two-bill, multi-trillion-dollar social safety net and infrastructure package.
Manchin refuses to be pushed on reconciliation bill proposals
Sen. Joe Manchin has been a key voice in Congress throughout President Biden's first year in the White House; the moderate Democrat holding huge sway in the evenly-divided Senate. The scale of Biden's Build Back Better legislative goals depends on what Manchin is willing to countenance but the West Virginia senator insists he will not be pressured.
Child Tax Credit extension will be a boost for families
After months of negotiations the White House has confirmed that it is close to securing a deal in Congress regarding the future of President Biden's ambitious Build Back Better legislative agenda. However to keep all 50 members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate on-board, some compromises have had to be made. Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg outlines how the reduced Child Tax Credit proposals will affect American families.
Roughly 750,000 paper stimulus checks were sent out on to California residents on Monday, but the CFTB warns that it can take weeks for the payments to arrive. Prior to this batch of payments only 4.5 million of the 9 million stimulus checks had been distributed, meaning that half of eligible residents are yet to receive their money.
We take a look at when the stimulus checks may arrive and how much recipients could stand to get...
Unemployment could fall to lowest level since start of the pandemic
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the October jobs report Friday and Western Union Business Solutions projects that it will show a continued deline in the unemployment rate.
Hwoever, one important question will be if those looking for a job increased as each month more and more workers seem to be giving up on the job search.
Welcome to our fourth stimulus check live feed
Hello and good morning! I'm Will and throughout the day AS USA will be bringing you all the latest updates from Washington as the White House looks to find agreement on President Biden's huge reconciliation package proposals.
We'll bring you news on the Child Tax Credit, Social Security increase, Medicare expansion and what hopes of a fourth stimulus check in the near future...