The Stimulus Round Three: How Much, when, and for whom?


Round Three…

The Coronavirus has impacted the United States in many ways. We’ve seen the closing of small businesses, the arrests of people who do not follow state mandates, COVID-19 sufferers being placed in nursing homes with the elderly, and the increasing conflation of what is a death from the disease itself and who died with the disease as a co-morbidity.

We have also seen two rounds of stimulus, or relief, checks. March of 2020 witnessed former President Trump sign a Coronavirus, Relief, and Economic Security Act which included a $1,200 to those eligible.

December 27 of the same year, he signed another relief package with $600 stimulus payments, which cause an uproar and complaints about the small amount. As the United States President can only either sign the bill or veto it, his neck was on the proverbial chopping block. What is often overlooked is that he wished the bill to contain a $2,000 check to be sent to those who qualify, but that is neither here nor there at the moment.

What is on the table is a third relief check promised by President Biden, a promise he is not willing to break and an amount he is not going to negotiate. What is on the table is the other items on the relief bill.


Troubled Waters, A Reconciliation?

With all the talk of unity, you would think President Biden would sit down with the Republicans who wish for the relief to be bi-partisan. At the start, it was shaky, with the willing members of Congress being ignored.
As a matter of fact, with the approval of a budget resolution on Wednesday, Feb. 3, a reconciliation could take place which would negate the need for Republican votes. This was responded to by Biden and Democrats who wish to work with Republicans giving them a buy-in.


There are two proposals

As stated earlier, the Republicans who are willing to work with President Biden’s administration have a proposal of their own, one that costs considerably less than the $1.9 trillion of the President’s plan, which is at a price tag of $600 billion.
To better understand what’s going on in the two proposals, the main points of each will be listed here.

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The Checks

Individuals
President Biden: $1400 for individuals with an income not exceeding $75,000This will eventually be phased out to a zero sum but an income cap has not been stated.
GOP: $1,000 for individuals with an income not exceeding $40,000.This, too, will be phased to zero and has a stated income cap at $50,000.
___
December Bill: The stimulus check phased out at $87,000.
March Bill: The check phased out at $99,000
___________________________________________________________________
Couples
President Biden: $2.800 for couples with an income not exceeding $150,000. There is a phase out, but again, no cap has been given.
GOP: $2,000 for couples with an income not exceeding $80,000.Phase out cap is $100,000.
___
December Bill: Check phased out at $174,000
March Bill: The phase-out cap was $198,000
___________________________________________________________
Dependants
President Biden: $1,400 for dependent each dependent. This includes adults that are classified as dependent. This will only happen if they don’t change the blueprint from December’s stimulus bill. This has not been confirmed.
GOP: Dependent adults and children to receive $500.
___
During both the previous bills, the dependents needed to be 16 and younger to qualify. Both parties wish to expand this to include older children and dependent adults. The particulars still need to be ironed out.

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What else is in the bills?

State and Local
While the GOP proposal does not include funding money for state and local governments to prevent job cuts for police, fire, and other public sector positions. President Biden’s proposal, if approved, will send $350 billion with all political parties approving this. The resistance by the GOP is due to the optics of rewarding poor fiscal responsibility.

COVID-19
Both proposed bills include $160 billion to let the nation start vaccination centers, boost testing, buy more rapid testing, expansion of laboratory capacity, the purchase of personal protective equipment for first responders.

Minimum Wage
There is a part in President Biden’s bill would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Unemployment
He would also extend the unemployment until September to the tune of $400 a week.
Under the GOP plan, $300 a week will be paid through June.

Education
President Biden also wishes to allocate $170 billion for education with $135 billion going to kindergarten through 12th grade. This is to ensure the safe re-opening of those schools and higher education establishments.
The GOP wish to allocate $20 billion for K-12.
President Biden wants $40 billion to offset expenses for child care providers. On top of that, he wants to allocate $15 billion to block grant programs that subsidizes low income families with dependents under 13 years of age. He wishes to increase child tax credits to $3,000 per year and per child for most parents.
The GOP only targets the block grant program with a $20 billion allocation.

Less People Qualifying and No Timetable…

Due to the ambiguity of the bill, many speculate fewer people could qualify once compared with previous stimulus checks.
The timetable on when the bill will be signed into law is not set in stone. Many experts project it to be in March, seeing how that is when the extended federal unemployment benefits are set to expire.

-Anissa “Maddy” Walker

Sources:

Third stimulus check: When could you get a $1,400 check? – CBS News
Third stimulus check update: House passes resolution and senators say Biden will negotiate on $1,400 payments. Here’s the latest. – nj.com
Stimulus Checks: How Much You’ll Get, and When – SmartAsset
Third stimulus check update: Fewer people could qualify for the next IRS payment; how much could you get? – pennlive.com
Third stimulus check updates: Biden sells COVID-19 relief plan to voters – Chicago Tribune
Third stimulus check update: Who wouldn’t get one under GOP plan? | kare11.com



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