Status of the third stimulus check: Will the bill be approved before the end of February, as hoped? – Community News
Stimulus Check

Status of the third stimulus check: Will the bill be approved before the end of February, as hoped?

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Congress has eight days to approve a $1.9 trillion coronavirus (COVID-19) aid package before the end of the month, as it had hoped.

Pressure to approve the package before the end of the month is due to the contents of the emergency law: extended unemployment benefits, currently expiring on March 14; stimulus checks for eligible Americans; state and local aid and money for vaccination efforts.

The $1.9 trillion relief bill, the first under the Biden administration and the third since the start of the pandemic, would send $1,400 to eligible Americans.

The current plan would send $1,400 to individuals earning up to $75,000 and $2,800 to married petitioners earning up to $150,000, in addition to $1,400 for each eligible dependent.

The legislation would allocate $20 billion for a national vaccination program, $350 billion for state and local aid, $170 billion for plans to reopen schools and increase the tax credit for children to $3,600.

The legislation would also raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 — a point of opposition from many Republicans and a handful of Democratic lawmakers.

Representative Nicole Malliotakis tweeted Saturday that the $20 billion identified for vaccine development, at just 1% of the total package, “shows just how huge (and unnecessarily inflated) this spending bill is.”

If a single Democrat voted against the aid package, it would prevent it from passing through a 50-50 senate split per party. If the Senate passes separate legislation, the House will have to meet again and probably nothing will be passed before the end of the month.

Incentive checks cannot be sent until the aid package has been approved. Once passed, the checks could be sent within a week.

PREVIOUS INCENTIVE PAYMENTS

The first round of stimulus under President Donald Trump sent checks worth $1,200 to individuals who filed tax returns with adjusted gross incomes of up to $75,000. Payments were reduced for singles earning up to $99,000 – it fell $5 for every $100 in income over $75,000. Individuals earning more than $99,000 did not receive a check.

Couples who filed joint tax returns in 2018 received $2,400, as long as the combined adjusted gross income was up to $150,000 — those earning up to $198,000 received a partial payment.

Eligible dependents 17 and under were awarded $500.

After much negotiation, the second stimulus check sent $600 to all eligible Americans and dependents.

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