Third stimulus check update: Biden says payments will be ‘$1,400. Period.’ Now Congress will legislate. Here’s the latest. – Community News
Stimulus Check

Third stimulus check update: Biden says payments will be ‘$1,400. Period.’ Now Congress will legislate. Here’s the latest.

President Joe Biden said Friday he would not reduce the proposed $1,400 out-of-pocket payments as final House approval of a budget resolution meant lawmakers could begin drafting the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. .

At the White House, Biden said the new checks, along with the $600 payments approved in December, have been approved. would give most Americans the $2,000 he promised. A group of 10 House Republicans proposed reducing the final round of checks to $1,000.

“I’m not shrinking the size of the checks,” Biden said. “They’re going to cost $1,400. Period. That is what the American people have been promised.”

Biden spoke after the House passed a budget resolution, largely along party lines, 219-209, allowing any bill Congress produces to pass by a majority vote, without the threat of a filibuster.

While no Republican in the House or Senate voted for the resolution, several GOP or bipartisan amendments were included. Biden said he was willing to negotiate with Republicans about their support, but wanted the bill swiftly approved. The aim is to get through it by mid-March, when the current extended unemployment benefits expire.

“I’ve told both Republicans and Democrats that my preference is to work together,” Biden said. “But if I had to choose between seeking help now for Americans who are in such pain and bogged down in lengthy negotiations or compromise on a bill that can withstand the crisis, it’s an easy choice. I’m going to help the American people who are hurting right now.”

A sense of urgency was added Friday by a report from the US Department of Labor showing the economy added just 49,000 jobs last month, after losing 227,000 jobs in December.

“It is clear that urgent and sustained action is needed for the duration of this crisis,” said Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

In its recent report, Moody’s Analytics said Biden’s plan would “give a major boost to the economy if passed” and help create 7.5 million jobs this year and another 2.5 million next year, eliminating all jobs. that have been lost since the pandemic are fully restored.

While Biden has refused to take the package apart, a bipartisan group of more moderate lawmakers on Friday recommended doing just that. The Problem Solvers Caucus, co-chaired by New Jersey Representative Josh Gottheimer, called for rapid approval of $160 billion for vaccines while discussions continued on the rest of the bill.

“We simply cannot afford to wait weeks after weeks to get more vaccines out the door,” said Gottheimer, D-5th Dist.

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Gov. Phil Murphy, meanwhile, joined New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in claiming a share of the proposal’s $350 billion in state and local aid, relative to the fact that both states were among the hardest hit. were affected by the coronavirus when it first came to this country.

“We got beat up,” Murphy said.

Cuomo said that when disaster strikes, the most damaged areas get the most help. That has to happen here, he said.

“When a state is hit by a hurricane, that state gets relief,” Cuomo said. “It’s not like every state gets help. Our state and our region have paid the highest price.”

Democratic US Senator Robert Menendez will be one of the senators who will help write the formula for distributing federal COVID aid to state and local governments.

“The governors were absolutely right that we should be treating COVID aid like federal post-hurricane disaster relief where you focus resources on the hardest hit areas,” Menendez said. “New Jersey is one of the hardest hit states and we need the federal government to take a big step.”

Jonathan D. Salant can be reached on [email protected].

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