Tuesday, May 30, 2023

What’s In The Stimulus Bill

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Students who are forced to drop out: Students who drop out of school as a result of the coronavirus wouldn’t have that time away from school deducted from their lifetime limits on subsidized loan and Pell Grant eligibility. Those students would also not be asked to pay back any grants or other aid they’ve already received.

Other programs: There is a very long list of other areas receiving funding including arts programs, universities and other institutions.

Fourth Stimulus Check Approval: Here’s What It’ll Take

The White House hasn’t responded to any of the proposals for additional stimulus checks, and the general sentiment is that a fourth stimulus check isn’t likely. Economists have suggested we’ve already moved past the pandemic’s worst financial woes, although there are signs that Americans could still use relief.

Experts certainly seem in agreement that there won’t be a fourth stimulus check. The latest stimulus package, the American Rescue Plan, is “gonna be the last on that front,” Deutsche Bank senior U.S. economist Brett Ryan told Fortune. “No more checks.”

Ed Mills, Washington policy analyst at Raymond James, agreed, telling CNBC recently “I think its unlikely at this time. D.C. has largely started to pivot towards the recovery and an infrastructure bill.”

Many economists and financial experts are worried that the third stimulus checks have contributed to a growing inflation rate. In June 2021, the core inflation rate, stripped of energy and food prices, rose 4.5% at an annual rate vs. the Dow Jones estimate of 3.8%. The overall consumer price index rose at an annualized 5.4% rate in June.

What Didn’t Make It: $15 Minimum Wage

President Joe Biden’s initial plan called for increasing the national minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025, more than doubling the current rate and increasing wages for an estimated 27 million workers. But the controversial proposal lacked support among key moderate Democrats in the Senate.

Last month, the Senate parliamentarian ordered the wage rise be removed from the bill. She said it did not meet the guidelines necessary to be included under the budget process Democrats plan to use to advance the aid package.

AZ: In the end, it was the Senate parliamentarian who killed the minimum wage increase, ruling that it would take 60 votes to pass. At the moment, just isn’t that kind of support in the Senate for a $15 wage – or among Democrats to overrule the parliamentarian – but the door is still open to a compromise on a lower minimum outside of the Covid relief package.

Republican support: 1/5

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A $15 Minimum Wage Will Have To Wait For Another Day

Many Democrats hoped to include a provision in the Covid-19 relief package that would have increased the federal minimum wage, which has been at $7.25 since 2009, to $15 by 2025. The provision did make it through the House-passed bill, but it was struck down by the Senate parliamentarian, who ruled it didnt fit under the rules of the budget reconciliation process Democrats are using to pass the stimulus.

There was some hope that Democrats might find a different avenue for increasing the minimum wage to $15, including overruling the parliamentarian, getting rid of the filibuster, or finding some way to compel companies to pay a $15 minimum wage by taxing them if they didnt. But ultimately, they forged ahead with the Senate bill without it.

One thing that became clear as Democrats in the Senate tried to hash this out: A significant portion of the caucus doesnt want to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. A Senate amendment to put a $15 minimum wage back in the Covid-19 bill was voted down on Friday, with 58 senators voting against it.

The legislation may not be everything progressives wanted, but the bills passage in the Senate is an important step toward getting help to millions of people.

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What’s In It For You $1200 Checks 13 Weeks Of Unemployment Payments And More

WOW! Second Stimulus Check Update 9

This bill adds $600 per week from the federal government on top of whatever base amount a worker receives from the state. That boosted payment will last for four months.

For example, if an out-of-work person is receiving the national average of about $340 per week, under the new federal program their take-home pay will be $940.

The legislation also adds 13 weeks of unemployment insurance. People nearing the maximum number of weeks allowed by their state would get an extension. New filers would also be allowed to collect the benefits for the longer period.

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Do People Need A Fourth Stimulus Check

According to CNBC, there is a case for a fourth stimulus check that goes beyond the calls from lawmakers. The Economic Security Project, a progressive organization that advocates for guaranteed income no matter what the state of the economy, says there’s a need for more stimulus checks.

We need at least one more check, said Adam Ruben.

Ruben, the campaign director at the Economic Security Project, also said that stimulus checks should be “automatic,” and not stalled as they were last summer when second stimulus check negotiations caused a long gap between the $1,200 and $600 payments.

There are signs of recovery, though. The June jobs report showed a gain of 850,000, which was better than expected, according to The New York Times. That’s the strongest one-month gain since last summer.

Likewise, the Commerce Department said that gross domestic product had grown at an annualized rate of 6.5% for April through June of 2021, surpassing the figure it had reached before the pandemic, the Washington Post reported. However, that was less than the 8% GDP growth some economists had forecast.

Regardless, certain lawmakers are pushing for relief.

This unprecedented moment demands an unprecedented response. People dont only need relief, they need stability, certainty, and predictability and the ABC Act delivers them exactly that,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal .

However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, didn’t appear to agree.

Check : The $1400 Third Stimulus Payment

The $1,400 stimulus check has already gone out to tens of millions of Americans, with more batches of payments going out over the coming weeks — you can track the status of your payment. Under new eligibility rules, some folks who qualified for the first two payments may not make the cut for the third. A hard ceiling on income, designed to exclude higher earners from getting a check, comes with a rule change regarding the use of dependents in the stimulus check formula. Check out our stimulus payment calculator to see how the income cap affects you.

The new legislation gives the IRS a deadline of Dec. 31 to finish sending the stimulus checks.

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More Money For State Local And Tribal Governments

Since the fall, economists have pushed for Congress to provide funding for state and local public jobs. “The case for additional aid is strong because the downside risk of doing nothing is quite real,” the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, said at the end of last year. “The fact that over 1 million state and local government workers have lost their jobs is a sign that fiscal distress has had real consequences.” In addition to state and local funding, the law provides funds for food and water assistance and food stamps.

Whats In The Stimulus Bill

Congress is moving ahead with its $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package

Rumble A bipartisan COVID-19 stimulus deal has been reached, and Congress is expected to vote on it TODAY.

Today on Sekulow, we discussed how a bipartisan agreement on a stimulus package relating to COVID-19 was reached by the House and Senate late last night.

Initially it did not look like Congress was going to be able to come to an agreement. And Im sure this stimulus wont make everyone happy. But I do think there was a consensus, amongst conservatives as well that dont like government stimulus plans and bailouts, that they thought our country needed another stimulus.

They felt we needed another stimulus for individuals who do work, as well as for individuals who are unemployed. We also needed one for small businesses in the form of Payment Protection Program loans. The point of those loans is to give small business an incentive to keep their employees on staff and receiving their salaries, even if those businesses are located in one of the states where the restrictions are such that businesses are not really able to operate. Or if the businesses are able to operate, they need that kind of assistance to forestall making major cuts on their workforce staff.

Starting off with the stimulus checks, each individual making $75,000 or less a year will receive a $600 stimulus payment. Couples making $150,000 or less a year will receive $600. Families will receive an additional $600 per dependent. That is less money than went out last time.

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Billions To The War Machine

Of course, a 5,000 page bill would not be complete without replenishing the stocked arsenal of the U.S. military. DefenseNews noted the bill includes $627.3 billion in base funding and $68.7 billion in wartime overseas contingency operations funding. Here is a rundown of what various departments have been awarded as part of the stimulus bill:

Department of the Army $288,750,000

Department of the Air Force $509,250,000

Department of the Navy $421,250,000

Department of the Army $264,285,000

Department of Defense $19,952,000

Columbia Class Submarine $1,253,175,000

Virginia Class Submarine $4,603,213,000

Mortgage And Rental Relief

The CARES Act was the first piece of coronavirus legislation to instate the forbearance and moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. The expiration date for these protections was extended numerous times, however, on August 26, 2021, the Supreme Court rejected the latest extension requested by the CDC. There is still help available, however, through the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program. For those seeking assistance on their mortgage or rent payments, the National Low Income Housing Coalition provides a searchable list of such programs available on its website.

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Stimulus Check Scams And Hoaxes

Of course, popular demand for widely distributed stimulus payments, and the confusing political maneuvering that goes into crafting stimulus bills, creates an information gap that’s easily exploited by scammers.

Even with the first wave of stimulus checks in 2020, we saw bogus email messages that pretended to be from the IRS, promising “an important update on your Covid relief fund.” But they just took you to phishing sites that wanted your Social Security number and other sensitive bits of information.

Following the second stimulus bill at the beginning of 2021, those email phishing attempts were joined by scam phone calls demanding your personal details so that you could be “cleared” to receive more stimulus checks.

In March, as President Biden’s American Rescue Plan was making its way through Congress, new phishing emails promised the moon: a $4,000 stimulus check, a boost in the minimum wage, free meals and, best of all, priority treatment that let you skip lines at COVID-19 vaccination sites.

Most recently, cruel pranksters have been passing around posts on Facebook that a fourth stimulus check worth $2,500 is coming by the end of July. Don’t believe it, and don’t believe the phishing websites that claim to register you for child-tax-credit advance payments.

In fact, most parents and legal guardians don’t need to do anything to get the payments they’ll just show up in your mailbox or bank account.

The Affordable Care Act Would Get A Boost

How The Stimulus Bill Directly Affects ALMOST ALL Real ...

The bill would temporarily increase subsidies for people purchasing health insurance through the Affordable Care Acts marketplaces. It includes billions of dollars for public health programs and veterans health care.

It also seeks to help those who have lost jobs keep the health insurance coverage they had through their employer, covering the full cost of premiums through a federal program called COBRA through September.

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State And Local Funding

There’s a $350 billion pot of cash to help governors, mayors and other local leaders recover lost funds “stemming from the public health emergency.”

That includes $220 billion for states, territories and tribal governments, in addition to an extra $130 billion for metropolitan cities, localities and counties.

The money can be put to a wide variety of uses, including infrastructure projects, but there are some restrictions: States can’t use the relief money to cut taxes either “directly or indirectly” through rate cuts, deductions, credits, rebates or delaying the onset of a tax. If they do, they’ll have to pay the money back to the Treasury. To enforce that, the bill requires states to give the Biden administration a “detailed accounting” of the use of funds and any changes to tax revenue sources during the relevant time period.

The money also can’t go to pension funds.

CORRECTION : A previous version of this article misidentified the state Sen. Roger Wicker represents. It is Mississippi, not Arkansas.

What About Money For Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution

More than 161 million vaccine doses have so far been administered in the US — and over 207 million distributed. More than a month early, the country reached Biden’s goal of 100 million jabs during the first 100 days of his administration , with a new goal of 200 million shots in the first 100 days.

The president’s plans set aside $160 billion for a nationwide vaccine program that’s been helping state and local governments get the vaccine into people’s arms.

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Are $2000 Monthly Stimulus Checks Possible

In response to President Biden’s American Jobs Plan proposal, a group of 21 senators on March 30 sent a letter urging the inclusion of stimulus checks in the legislation. The group called for recurring payments as long as the pandemic lockdown continued, meaning people would get monthly checks from the government. No amount for the payments was specified.

We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan, wrote the group, which consisted of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and others.

An earlier stimulus check proposal, put forward during the early days of the American Rescue Plan in late January, also suggested monthly payments until the pandemic is over, but did not mention an amount. However, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, tweeted earlier in January that she wanted to see $2,000 per month.

If that amount sounds familiar, it’s because now-Vice President Kamala Harris threw her support behind $2,000 recurring checks during the negotiations for the second stimulus check legislation in the summer of 2020.

The proposal has also gained plenty of support outside of Congress: Six online petitions calling for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks until the end of the pandemic have been posted. The biggest petition, on Change.org, has been signed by more than 2.8 million people and has a stated goal of reaching 3 million.

When Will My Stimulus Check Arrive

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The stimulus money promised under the American Rescue Plan began to hit the bank accounts of many Americans on Wednesday, March 17 the first official payment date although some financial institutions chose to make the cash available to people even before it arrived from the government.

Not everyone eligible to receive a payment will have received one on Wednesday, though. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service officials said the payments will be released in batches over the next several weeks, with some coming in the mail in the form of checks or debit cards.

The Treasury Department has been working with financial institutions to try to ensure that payments arrive more quickly this time around than they did last year.

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Additional Programs And Extensions

In addition to all funding above, the stimulus extended the Coronavirus Relief Fund created by the CARES Act and the Employee Retention Tax Credit. It also provided a special lookback for the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for low-income individuals and provided a Contractor Pay Extension, allowing federal agencies to reimburse contractors for the cost of paid leave during the COVID pandemic.

It also extended to 2021 two charitable donation benefits that had been introduced for the 2020 tax year by the CARES Act:

  • Taxpayers may continue to deduct charitable donations of up to 100% of their adjusted gross income .
  • Individual taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions and take the standard deduction are allowed up to a $300 deduction for charitable cash contributions. Added by the Consolidated Appropriations Act: Married couples filing jointly who don’t itemize can deduct up to $600, but the deduction is no longer above-the-line, as it was for 2020.

If You Own A Restaurant Or Venue:

Theres about $25 billion in assistance for restaurants and bars, but it isnt yet clear how that will be distributed throughout the region.

There is also about $1.25 billion earmarked for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant , which will help music venues, promoters, and other kinds of performance space such as local theaters that have been closed during the pandemic. Previously, club and theater owners had to choose to apply for SVOG funds or PPP2 loans, but can now use the loans to continue operations as they await SVOG money.

» READ MORE: Heres what Pennsylvania and New Jersey are getting out of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package

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