Lawmakers are getting closer to approving a third round of stimulus checks. A full House vote is expected Friday on Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion virus relief bill.
WASHINGTON — Before being sworn in, President Joe Biden announced a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan, including $1,400 stimulus checks for struggling Americans. The ‘US bailout’ could trigger another round of aid to stabilize the economy as public health efforts seek to gain the upper hand over the pandemic. The bill also includes pumping billions of dollars in aid to state and local governments, as well as additional aid to businesses hit by the pandemic.
So, now that the presidency, US House and Senate are controlled by Democrats, when could Americans get a third Economic Impact Payment?
When will they vote on the third stimulus control?
The House of Representatives approved the US bailout plan Saturday morning by a vote of 219 to 212, hours after going through the House Rules Committee. The bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration, but the timeline for approval there remains in some doubt.
The legislation provides for a third stimulus check that is $1,400 for a single taxpayer, or $2,800 for a married couple applying together, plus $1,400 per dependent. Individuals earning up to $75,000 get the full amount, as do married couples earning up to $150,000.
The size of the check would shrink for those earning a little more, with a hard cap of $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for married couples.
Some Republicans want to reduce the discount, as well as the pool of Americans who qualify for it, but Biden has pushed for checks for $1,400, saying, “That’s what the American people were promised.” The new round of audits is estimated to cost the government $422 billion.
When will the third stimulus check be sent?
Democrats and President Joe Biden want the COVID-19 relief plan approved by March 14. That’s when extra unemployment aid and other pandemic aid ends.
However, changes may still be made before the bill is passed by the Senate. The Senate legislator, who advises the Senate on its rules and procedures but has no formal authority, ruled Thursday that a provision to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour should be scrapped. The Senate, as in the past, has the power to change the rules to allow for its inclusion.
If the Senate changes something about the bill, it has to go back to the House of Representatives for approval.
During the first round of stimulus checks in April 2020, it took about two weeks for the federal government to start handing out the money. It took about a week for the second round of checks, worth $600, to begin in early January.
If the IRS can stick to earlier timelines, Americans could receive stimulus checks from late March to early April. For example, if the stimulus package was signed into law on March 14, based on previous emergency plans, the first direct deposits could be made in the week of March 22.
Another possible complicating factor is that this round of stimulus checks is likely to take place while the IRS is processing tax returns.
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Why $1,400 checks and not $2,000?
Biden’s plan required $1,400 checks for most Americans, which, in addition to the $600 provided in the most recent COVID-19 bill, would bring the total to the $2,000 Biden has requested.
But Biden didn’t make that distinction at first. Biden said on Jan. 4, while campaigning for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock ahead of Georgia’s Senate election, “Their election will end Washington’s blocking of that $2,000 stimulus check. That money goes immediately.” out the door.”
What else is in Biden’s $1.9 trillion package?
According to Biden’s multi-track strategy, about $400 billion would go directly to fighting the pandemic, with the rest focused on economic aid and aid to states and localities.
About $20 billion would be allocated for a more disciplined focus on vaccination, on top of the roughly $8 billion already approved by Congress. Biden has called for mass vaccination centers to be set up and mobile units to be sent to hard-to-reach areas.
click here to see the full breakdown of where the funds will be allocated.
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What about a minimum wage of $15 per hour?
The decision on whether or not to keep a $15-an-hour minimum wage increase in the COVID-19 relief bill rests with one person in the Senate: the MP.
Elizabeth MacDonough, a major in English literature and the Senate’s first female parliamentarian, decided on Thursday to exclude the minimum wage increase from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill.
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The finding by MacDonough, the impartial arbiter of the chamber of its rules, means Democrats will face an overwhelmingly uphill battle to raise the minimum wage this year amid solid Republican opposition. Their proposal would gradually raise the federal minimum to $15 an hour by 2025, well above the $7.25 in effect since 2009.
President Joe Biden was “disappointed” with the outcome but respected the lawmaker’s statement, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. The Senate has a long tradition of obeying the MP’s decisions, with few exceptions, a history revered by traditionalists like Biden, a 36-year-old Senate veteran.
“He will work with leaders in Congress to determine the best way forward because no one in this country should be working full-time and living in poverty,” Psaki said.
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Democrats are pushing the massive coronavirus relief measure through Congress under special rules that will allow them to avoid a Senate filibuster by Republicans, a tactic that would require Democrats an unattainable 60 votes to defeat.
But those same Senate rules prohibit provisions with only an “incidental” impact on the federal budget because they are primarily driven by other policy ends. MacDonough said the minimum wage failed that test, according to aides who described her decision on condition of anonymity because it had not been released.
MacDonough’s decision forces Democrats to make politically painful choices about what to do next with the minimum wage, which has long caused internal party rifts.
Where is my first or second stimulus check? What if I didn’t get a stimulus check or the correct amount?
While there are still about $600 in second-round stimulus checks in the mail, the IRS said last week they issued them all.
So if Americans haven’t received payment, or haven’t received their full amount, they may be eligible for a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file a 2020 tax return.
Eligibility for the credit will be based on tax year 2020 information, while economic impact payments were based on 2019 (or in some cases 2018) tax information.
As a reminder, the first round of payments was limited to $1,200 per qualifying adult and $500 per dependent; the second was worth up to $600 for each eligible family member. Those who have received a greater economic impact compensation than they were owed will not be penalized.
The IRS began accepting tax returns for 2020 on February 12.