Fourth stimulus check news summary | 19 November 2021

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US stimulus checks: live updates

Headlines

- House vote on Build Back Better passed on Friday morning

- The premium for Medicare Part B will increase nearly 15 percent in 2022, cutting the size of many social security checks

- Maine begins distributing a $285 stimulus checks

- President Bidensigned Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill into law on Monday. His second stop to promote it was Michigan on Wednesday.

- Congress could remove Social Security Numberrequirement for Child Tax Credit

- Distribution for the fifth Child Tax Credit payment started on Monday: Find out more

- Low-earning American households are missing out on the Child Tax Credit

- Calls continue for Congress to pass a fourth stimulus check before December

Useful information & Links

Child Tax Credit

- Deadline passed to enroll in advance Child Tax Credit payment scheme. Households not signed up will need to wait to claim credit on 2021 tax returns

- Final 2021 Child Tax Credit payment coming 15 December

Stimulus checks

- Maine offers $285 surprise stimulus check to half a million residents.

- Could a fourth stimulus check be approved in November 2021?

- Which states are sending out their own payments?

- 750,000 Californians to receive Golden State Stimulus checks

Social Security

- What will the monthly amount for Social Security disability be?

- When will the Social Security increase for 2022 begin?

- At what age is Social Securityno longer taxed in the US?

Latest articles:

"Not a single House Republican voted for quality, affordable child care. Or universal pre-k. Or paid leave. Or lower prescription prices. Or making giant corporations pay a fair share. They’re on the side of the rich and powerful. Democrats are fighting for working people".

Elizabeth Warren, US Senator for Massachusetts

"I applaud Democrats in the House of Representatives for uniting to pass the Build Back Better Act. Now the Senate has an opportunity to hear the demands of the American people and strengthen the bill. That’s what we must do.

"It is beyond absurd that at the same time as our nation continues to spend more on the military than the next 12 nations COMBINED, we are told over and over that we cannot afford to invest in the needs of working class people here at home".

Bernie Sanders, US Senator for Vermont

When and how will COLA 2022 affect Social Security benefits?

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.

The annual boost to monthly payments will help go some way toward keeping seniors and disabled recipients from losing purchasing power. However, much of this increase is likely to be offset by similar rises in costs of goods and Medicare.

So when you can expect the increase and how much you could receive?

AS USA's Oli Povey and Greg Heilman have the lowdown in this report

 

"One step closer"

Reacting to the passage of President Biden's Build Back Better bill in the House today, Vice-President Kamala Harris has tweeted that the proposed legislation "will lower costs for working families, invest in the care economy and help us combat climate change".

As VP, Harris will have a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, which is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, if a vote on the bill in the upper house follows party lines.

A look back at the three federal stimulus checks so far

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, three federal stimulus checks have been sent out to qualifying Americans - two under the Trump administration, one under the Biden administration.

Take a look at our full lowdown on the three direct payments

Build Back Better won't increase deficit, Psaki insists

In a press briefing today, White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended President Joe Biden’s claim that his Build Back Better plan will not increase the deficit in the US, telling reporters: “Uh, it is true.”

Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted in trial over Kenosha shootings

In Wisconsin, teenager Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of all charges relating to his shooting of three people during anti-racism protests in Kenosha last August.

Rittenhouse, who shot and killed two people and wounded another, was found not guilty on all counts, having claimed self-defence.

Full story on Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal

McConnell urges moderate Dems to "kill this bill"

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has reacted to the passage of the Build Back Better bill in the House, accusing Democrats of approving a “reckless taxing and spending spree”.

“Ninety percent of Americans are worried about inflation, but House Democrats just voted to let Washington D.C. print, borrow, and spend trillions more,” McConnell said in a statement.

“Our economy is shaky, but House Democrats just voted for historic tax hikes that would drain hundreds of billions of dollars out of U.S. industries and kill American jobs.”

With Democrats in need of backing from all 50 of their senators to get the bill through the upper house, McConnell called on moderate Dems such as Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to ensure the legislation doesn't passthe Senate.

“Now only a few Senate Democrats can protect American families from these radical and painful policies,” he said. “It is up to them to kill this bill.”

Harris was acting US president for 85 minutes today

It has emerged that President Biden, whose Build Back Better plan has now been passed by the House, transferred his powers over to Vice-President Kamala Harris for just under an hour and a half today, as he underwent a routine colonoscopy that required sedation.

Per Bloomberg’s Gregory Korte, the White House says Biden’s letter invoking section three of the 25th amendment was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at 10:10am ET this morning, before his second letter, in which he reclaimed his powers, was sent to Pelosi at 11:35am.

Dems need backing of moderate lawmakers as bill goes to Senate

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that the upper house will take up the Build Back Better bill "as soon as the necessary technical and procedural work with the Senate Parliamentarian has been completed".

The Democrats have a simple majority in the Senate and are planning to use the 'reconciliation' process to sidestep the filibuster, which requires 60 votes for legislation to advance beyond the debate stage in the chamber. However, as CNN's Manu Raju notes, they'll need to get the more moderate Dems - such as West Viriginia's Joe Manchin and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema - on side.

... and the president's reaction

"For the second time in two weeks, the House has moved on critical and consequential pieces of my legislative agenda," President Joe Biden said in a statement.

""Now, the Build Back Better Act goes to the Senate, where I look forward to it passing as soon as possible so I can sign it into law."

Democrat reaction...

Thank YOU to everyone in the movement — whether you’ve been organizing your communities or even going on a hunger strike — who made the passage of the Build Back Better Act out of the House possible. Especially to the young folks out there, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat

I am so excited that our transformational Build Back Better Act has PASSED the House! This historic bill is going to deliver real change for you, your family, and communities across the country!

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Progressive caucus chief

I applaud Democrats in the House of Representatives for uniting to pass the Build Back Better Act. The Senate has an opportunity to make this a truly historic piece of legislation. We will listen to the demands of the American people and strengthen the bill.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democrat

Rep. Ilhan Omar celebrates the first stage of the bill passed with a tube of toothpaste

Reaction to the passing of the first steps toward the Build Back Better plan

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, triumphantly brought down her gavel to mark the passing, to applause from Democratic members. 

The Republican side of the aisle was not best pleased, and we will bring both sides of the reaction now.

Democrats win vote in House on Build Back Better agenda

US lawmakers voted today to elevate President Joe Biden's giant social welfare bill to the Senate, in a major step forward for his vision for a more equitable society that is the centerpiece of his domestic agenda

 

House vote on Build Back Better plan starting now

Despite Rep. McCarthy's incredible speech last night (through to morning), House Democrats are poised to do their bit for the President and vote through the watered-down reconciliation bill today.

Because the bill is being considered under special rules known as reconciliation that shield it from a filibuster in the Senate, Democrats have bypassed Republican input and relied instead on their razor-thin majorities in both chambers to craft the package.

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.

The annual boost to monthly payments will help go some way toward keeping seniors and disabled recipients from losing purchasing power. However, much of this increase is likely to be offset by similar rises in costs of goods and Medicare.

So when you can expect the increase and how much you could receive?

Read more here

Social Security

When does COLA 2022 take effect in Social Security Benefits? How to calculate your amount

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.

The annual boost to monthly payments will help go some way toward keeping seniors and disabled recipients from losing purchasing power. However, much of this increase is likely to be offset by similar rises in costs of goods and Medicare.

So when you can expect the increase and how much you could receive?

Read more here

WATCH: House Minority Leader McCarthy in monster speech

Clocking in at more than EIGHT hours, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy dominated the House floor, preventing any vote on the Build back Better plan. It could still happen today, however.

Biden's approval ratings continue to fall

President Biden’s job approval rating is down to just 36 percent in a new Quinnipiac University poll, signaling trouble for Democrats as they head into 2022. 

The president’s current approval rating is down a point from 37 percent last month, according to the poll. Disapproval with his job performance also ticked up slightly to 53 percent from 52 percent in October. 

Biden’s sliding approval rating adds to mounting evidence that Americans may be poised to deliver an electoral blow to Democratic control in Washington next year.

On 12 November, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMM) released the 2022 premium prices and deductibles for Medicare Parts A and B.

Across the board, those on Medicare will pay more for their care. The price of the premium for Medicare Part B, which most members are required to pay, will increase fifteen percent from $148.50 to $171. This increase is almost triple the Social Security Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) those on social security will see reflected in their benefits next year.

Read more here

MEDICARE NEWS

How much is taken out of your Social Security check for Medicare?

On 12 November, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMM) released the 2022 premium prices and deductibles for Medicare Parts A and B.

Across the board, those on Medicare will pay more for their care. The price of the premium for Medicare Part B, which most members are required to pay, will increase fifteen percent from $148.50 to $171. This increase is almost triple the Social Security Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) those on social security will see reflected in their benefits next year.

Read more here

What Medicare provisions are in the Build Back Better plan?

The Build Back Better plan encompasses much of the more ambitious elements of President Biden's legislative agenda and the expansion for Medicare provisions are key among those policies. The House was set to vote on the package yesterday, which would have set the ball rolling for the long-awaited Senate vote. 

The hardworking men and women who kept our state running through the pandemic deserve our appreciation. As a result of the bipartisan budget passed by the Legislature and signed by me, my Administration will send one-time payments of $285 to more than half a million working Maine people. I hope this will help Maine families to some small degree during the holiday season as we work to fully recover our economy.

Janet Mills, Governor of Maine

While the chances of a fourth stimulus in all US states is next to none, there has been an announcement of extra support for residents in the New England state of Maine.

524,754 people could get a surprise check in the mail sometime after November 15 as the Maine State Tax Accessor will be issuing $285 checks to taxpayers. People with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $150,000 for married couples filing jointly, $112,000 for heads of household or $75,000 for individuals, are eligible to receive the checks.

However, not everyone who earns less than these values are eligible. You must have worked continuously in 2020 throughout the pandemic, and people classed as dependents are not eligible. 

Read more here

Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

$285 surprise stimulus check in November: who is getting extra money?

While the chances of a fourth stimulus in all US states is next to none, there has been an announcement of extra support for residents in the New England state of Maine.

524,754 people could get a surprise check in the mail sometime after November 15 as the Maine State Tax Accessor will be issuing $285 checks to taxpayers. People with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $150,000 for married couples filing jointly, $112,000 for heads of household or $75,000 for individuals, are eligible to receive the checks.

However, not everyone who earns less than these values are eligible. You must have worked continuously in 2020 throughout the pandemic, and people classed as dependents are not eligible. 

Read more here

Build Back Better vote blocked by huge speech

The Democrats now have the votes required in the House of Representatives to pass the Build Back Better bill, but Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy engaged in a prolonged spell of speaking to delay and register his opposition to the bil.

His speech lasted into the early hours of Monday, preventing a vote on the plans.

Democrats claim the Build Back Better bill will reduce the deficit

The financial ramifications of the Build Back Better proposals have been the main sticking point for the small number of moderate Democrats who are yet to commit their support to the bill. Senator Joe Manchin is known to be waiting for more financial information before agreeing to vote for the package, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has claimed that the cost of the $1.75 trillion bill is offset by the economic boost that the policies will provide. 

US stimulus checks: live updates

Good morning and welcome to the AS USA coverage of the ongoing Congressional wrangling over the fate of President Biden's Build Back Better proposals. 

We will be running you through all the related news for Friday 19 November and update on the long-awaited fourth stimulus check, Child Tax Credit extension and the Social Security COLA increase. 

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