President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan is moving forward, raising hopes of another round of stimulus checks for most Americans. Theearly Saturday, and the bill will now go through the Senate.
In brief remarks after the House vote, Biden said he hoped for “swift action” from senators on the spending package, dubbed the US bailout.
“We have no time to waste. If we act now, decisively, quickly and boldly, we can finally get ahead of this virus,” he said. “We can finally get our economy going. And the people of this country have suffered too much for too long. We need to alleviate that suffering. That is exactly what the US bailout is doing.”
The Senate is likely to take the measure next week and will have to iron out some wrinkles that appeared during the negotiations. The biggest problem is a provision in the House measure that would raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by 2025. The Senate bill is unlikely to include the increase after thethat the salary increase cannot be included in the upper chamber version of the back-up plan.
“We might see a few final attempts next week by Progressive Democrats to include a wage hike in the current relief bill, but ultimately we don’t see those efforts succeed,” bank analysts wrote. Raymond James investment in a report.
While the loss of the pay rise is a blow to low-income workers, its withdrawal from Senate negotiations could actually speed up the bill’s passage, according to Hunter Hammond, an analyst at Heights Security.
“This move, while disappointing for progressives, makes calculating the passage of the bill much easier for Democrats,” Hammond told investors in a research note. “They will avoid an uphill battle in the Senate, where two Democratic senators oppose a raise to $ 15 / hour (although at least one of them has said he could support a smaller increase), which means that the party could have been the subject of a brutal fight on the subject. “
The bill would also increase weekly unemployment benefits from $ 300 to $ 400; providing financing to small businesses, schools, cities and states; provide families with children with tax relief; and increase public spending on COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.
The Senate could vote on the package at the end of next week, with the House then proceeding to its final vote over the weekend of March 6 or the week of March 8, according to Hammond. Lawmakers are looking to pass the bill by March 14, when expanded unemployment assistance of $ 300 per week is about to expire.
Certainly, disputes or disagreements could still derail the bill. But Democrats are using a process called budget reconciliation to pass the legislation, which means only a simple Senate majority is required for approval, rather than the 60 votes required by most bills to overcome a possible filibuster. In other words, Democrats don’t need the backing of Republican senators to pass the bailout.
If the bill passes before March 12, the Friday before the extra unemployment assistance expires, stimulus checks could start hitting bank accounts a few days to a week after that, depending on the timeframe. from the IRS for the distribution of the second round. stimulus checks in December.
Earlier this month, the IRS said it was monitoring the relief bill to prepare to distribute the next round of payments. “We are watching the hill closely,” said Ken Corbin, the IRS’s taxpayer experience manager, although he did not plan when the tax agency might distribute the checks.
The IRS relies on a taxpayer’s most recent tax return to determine how much they should receive and when they might receive it. This is why some tax experts are urging taxpayers to, especially if they have had a major life change, such as the birth of a child or the loss of a job or income last year.
Because the IRS officially began accepting tax returns on February 12 and will close the filing window on its usual April 15 date, the plan could pass in the middle of the tax filing season.
If a taxpayer does not file their 2020 tax return before Congress passes their next relief bill, the agency will likely use their 2019 tax return to calculate their check payment. stimulus – and this 2019 statement might not reflect the revenue losses during last year’s economic crisis. or a new child, for example. In this case, a taxpayer might not receive as much stimulus money as they are entitled to.
A person’s income is the primary determinant of whether they will receive a check, as well as the amount of the payment.
Payments would be $ 1,400 for a single person or $ 2,800 for a married couple filing jointly. Only people earning up to $ 75,000 would receive full payments, as would married couples with incomes not exceeding $ 150,000. Payments would decrease for incomes above these thresholds, gradually rising above $ 100,000 for individuals and $ 200,000 for married couples.
Some lawmakers have argued that checks should be targeted at low-income families, citing research that shows high-income families are recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic. But other research points to widespread financial pain across the country, with the ranks of adults struggling financially last month little changed from December, according to Morning Consult economist John Leer.
A third set of checks for $ 1,400 would allow nearly 23 million adults to pay their expenses for more than four months without taking on more debt or eating into their savings, according to his analysis.
“This third stimulus check is absolutely vital,” Colleen McCreary, director of human resources for Credit Karma, told CBS MoneyWatch. “I don’t see a world where people will have their financial footing without additional stimulus funding.”