Fourth stimulus check update


A lot of people are still wondering if there will be a fourth stimulus check in 2021.

There has been some support for it in Congress with more than 80 members of Congress signing letters urging the president to approve a fourth stimulus check, including seven members of the House Ways and Means Committee who recently joined.

(That committee carries a lot of weight in stimulus/spending negotiations.)

Supporters have pointed out that a fourth and potentially a fifth stimulus check would keep an additional 12 million people out of poverty.

These lawmakers did not specify an exact dollar amount for the new payments but I doubt we would expect anything on the level that went out before.

Furthermore, I think a lot of people anticipate that any more stimulus checks will be even more targeted than before, perhaps going to those who are truly in need.

The economy is opening back up and seems to be coming back but things are still not quite where they were before the pandemic.

For example, the latest job report showed that 9.3 million people are still unemployed and in February 2020 that figure was 5.8 million. That’s still a major gap (although unemployment benefits probably are playing a large role).

A study from the University of California — Berkeley, also showed that around 6 million renters still owe close to $20 billion in back rent. That’s obviously a huge issue for both tenants and landlords.

But the biggest support for more stimulus checks may come from the figure showing how people have used the checks in early 2021.

The last two rounds of stimulus checks have helped many Americans with basic needs related to food, housing, and mental health. For others, it has meant being able to cover other needs like clothing and life insurance.

President Biden has not openly supported additional payments but his spokesperson indicated that Biden is not ruling out the possibility of an additional check.

“The president is certainly open to a range of ideas,” press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday.

“He’s happy to hear from a range of ideas on what would be most effective and what’s most important to the economy moving forward.” 

So an additional round of stimulus checks is still in play but it will face a lot of opposition, especially from Republicans. And it seems to be one of the lower priorities right now, behind infrastructure projects and other initiatives.

So I wouldn’t rule out another check coming but I would still say that it seems unlikely we will see another check anytime soon.



More than 2 million people have endorsed a petition calling for $2000 monthly recurring stimulus checks.

The petition was posted on last year by Stephanie Bonin, a restaurant owner in Colorado.

“I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis,” Bonin wrote.

“Otherwise, laid-off workers, furloughed workers, the self-employed, and workers dealing with reduced hours will struggle to pay their rent or put food on the table.”

“Congress needs to make sure that we won’t be left financially ruined for doing our part to keep the country healthy.”

So far, there have been three rounds of stimulus checks: a $1,200 check, $600 check and $1,400 checks.

But many argue that these three checks are simply not enough to get people through the pandemic.

“Another single check won’t solve our problems – people are just too far behind,” Bonin wrote.

“Like we’ve been saying from the beginning of this pandemic, people need to know when the next check is coming. And the best thing our government can do right now is send emergency money to the people on a monthly basis.”

The petition has certainly amassed a ton of support but I don’t think it will be enough.

Sending out recurring checks is a very radical approach to stimulus relief. While some Democrats in Congress do support this initiative, they are definitely in the minority.

Issuing out recurring monthly checks would be extremely expensive and it was already quite the challenge to get the last round of stimulus checks passed.

No Republicans were on board and even some moderate Democrats were barely supportive.

Now that we have vaccines rolling out in full force and the lockdowns and even mask mandates are disappearing, I just don’t see any way recurring checks become a thing.



Millions of Americans are still waiting to receive their third stimulus check from the government but there is already talk swelling up about a fourth check.

Over 75 members of Congress have already gone on record stating that until the pandemic is over, there should be regular stimulus checks.

“We are experiencing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, with millions of Americans either unemployed, forced out of the workforce or facing a decline in hours and wages,” a letter from 56 House Democrats said.

Democratic senators also jumped on board in support of more stimulus aid:

“Families shouldn’t have to worry about whether they’ll have enough money to pay for essentials in the months ahead,” they wrote.

And now President Biden is facing pressure to include them in a $2.3 trillion infrastructure spending plan that he is working on.

Proponents of a fourth stimulus check point out that more than 7 million people could be lifted out of poverty,  according to an analysis from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

In addition, about four in 10 Americans state that their income remains below the pre-pandemic levels. So clearly, there are still a lot of people struggling in the country as a result of the coronavirus.

But right now it is not clear that there is enough support in Congress for a fourth stimulus check.

It seems like it might be very difficult to get moderate Democrats on board with the idea right now, especially considering that they struggled to support the last round of stimulus checks.

And we can pretty much assume that all Republicans would vote against another round of checks.

And in the White House, the Biden administration is turning its attention to other priorities like this massive infrastructure proposal.

As far as what is happening in the real world, vaccines are going out at a record pace and the stock market and unemployment rates are looking pretty good.

So the need for another economic stimulus payment isn’t looking like it is growing.

I still think there may be a chance for an extremely targeted stimulus check round in the future but as far as another wide disbursement, I don’t think that is probably very likely.


Will a fourth stimulus check be announced next week?

A lot of people are curious about whether or not a fourth stimulus check will be on the way and we might have a better indication of that within the next week.

President Joe Biden is set to give a major address to Congress (and the nation) Wednesday night.

In the speech, Biden is set to reveal the details of a $1.8 trillion proposal the White House is calling its “American Families Plan,” which will provide funding for education, child care and paid family leave,

It’s reported that this bill would continue an expanded child tax credit that could end up providing parents with a monthly check up to $300 per child.

Currently the checks are expected to go out only for 2021 but it is possible that these checks could be extended for multiple years, possibly through 2025.

It’s not clear if the plan will include a fourth stimulus check or not but I would be surprised if it did.

For one, the prior support from Republicans was essentially nonexistent and it’s not like anything has changed since then.

Democrats had to resort to a budget reconciliation method to pass the legislation and I don’t believe they can do that again until the fall.

The other big issue is that this plan is going to likely propose raising taxes for wealthy Americans, possibly by a large amount.

That is already going to be a hugely unpopular measure with Republicans and so adding in a fourth stimulus check just doesn’t seem like it would make sense strategically.


IRS sending out plus payments


More than 130,000,000 stimulus payments have been issued but you might be receiving more funds than you anticipated when you receive your upcoming stimulus check.

The IRS has reportedly begun issuing “plus up payments” along with the third round of stimulus checks.

These are supplemental payments that are going out to individuals who previously received partial stimulus payments.

The reason for the increased payment could be something like your income dropping in 2020 compared to 2019 or perhaps because you had a new child or dependent on your 2020 tax return.

Other situations may apply as well.

For example, if the IRS did not previously have your information to issue you a stimulus payment but you recently filed a tax return, you might be in this crowd as well.

So be on the lookout for a potential plus payment if you feel like you have not received the full amount of stimulus funds you are entitled to.



According to CNN, at least six states are trying to protect individuals receiving stimulus checks who might be subject to private debt collection.

Recall that the latest round of stimulus checks are not protected from private debt collectors and Congress failed to protect these recipients from garnishment.

A bill was introduced in the Senate by Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Bob Menendez of New Jersey but Republicans blocked the measure from passing via unanimous consent.

No additional bill has been introduced in the House.

The states that have taken action to ban garnishment include Maryland, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and New York.

But millions of payments that have already been issued by the IRS remain open and vulnerable to seizure in other states.

This is a very tough situation to be in because even judgments for unpaid medical bills could be used to take stimulus funds. We will see if other states end up taking action.




A new batch of stimulus checks will be issued this week according to the Biden administration.

This round will include paper checks and debit cards for those individuals who did not provide bank information to the IRS or for those people who have been switched from direct deposit to paper checks.

This means that if you are expecting a paper check or debit card do you want to keep a close eye on your mailbox over the next few weeks.

There will also be payment sent via direct deposit on the official payment date of March 24.

Last week, approximately 90 million payments were sent out and the majority of those were delivered via direct deposit.

Every week going forward, additional batches will be sent out according to the  US Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

As always, you can check your payment status by going to the  IRS Get My Payment tool online.



One of the biggest issues surrounding the third round of stimulus checks is that they will be subject to collection from private debt collectors.

This was a significant departure from the first and second round of checks and is the product of the budget reconciliation process.

That process only allows provisions to pass that directly impact the federal budget and excluding private collections apparently did not meet that threshold.

Still, since the passage of the bill lawmakers have been actively fighting against allowing private debt collectors to collect on stimulus checks.

In fact, they have even proposed an amendment via Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) to close the loophole that allows this.

“For many families, the stimulus checks are a lifeline to help pay rent or a mortgage and put food on the table,” Menendez said.

“No predatory debt collector should be able to sweep in and swipe these funds from those who need it most.”

The bad news is that this proposed amendment has been blocked by Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania).

“At best this is now a political statement because, as one of my colleagues just alluded to, these payments have already gone out the door,” said Toomey.

“To the extent that a person was subject to garnishment, the garnishment happens automatically. So, it’s already happened.”

This could mean that up to 70 million Americans may see their stimulus checks trimmed down or even completely taken.

This is a shame because last year lawmakers were able to come together to prevent this from happening.

“Last year, Democrats and Republicans joined together to shield previous relief payments, and I would hope that Senate Republicans again support ensuring families receive the $1,400 they need to pay rent and buy groceries,” Wyden stated.

At this point, it is probably too late to implement anything because so many payments have already gone out and garnishments have presumably already taken place.




Officials at the IRS and the Treasury Department both said that they had already started to process the third round of stimulus payments and that they wanted to have the first payments showing up this weekend.

It is estimated that a whopping 85% of Americans will be eligible for the payments.

If you are expecting a payment reportedly the Get My Payment tool is already working for the third round of stimulus checks.

This means that you might be able to check on the status of your payment right here.

If nothing shows up, it’s possible that it still may take some time for your name to appear based on how things have worked the last couple of rounds.

So it might be a good idea to check on it every day or so for the next few days until something appears.



Stimulus checks are already being processed by the IRS and are expected to go out in the next week.

The official payment date for the $1,400 federal stimulus checks is March 17 but because some banks have already started to process the checks, some payments may show up earlier.

The vast majority of payments are being sent out via direct deposit but some people will receive paper checks or even debit cards.

Remember that one huge difference with this third round of checks is that they may be subject to private debt collection.

Unlike the first two rounds that were protected, it doesn’t look like the same protections apply to this round.

Some people have recommended canceling your direct deposit account set up with the IRS if you think you might be subject to private debt collection.

That would likely delay receipt of your payment but you might be able to cash your check at some other institution like WalMart (fees will likely apply) and avoid the garnishment.

It’s possible that activists might still be able to close up this loophole.

However, there is not much time to act and while lawmakers have made statements indicating that they intend to end this loophole, it may not be possible due to payments going out so quickly.

Just remember that this garnishment is only applicable to private collectors and not back taxes, child support, or government debts.


Getting this third round of stimulus checks out has been a bit tricky.

First, there was the initial promise of a $2,000 stimulus check that actually came out to one $600 check + one $1,400 check.

This rubbed many people the wrong way as they thought that politicians were simply trying to earn votes in the highly contested Georgia election runoff by promising a more attractive $2,000 check.

But Congress and the White House did come through to some degree by following up the $600 check with the new $1,400 stimulus payment.

This then led to all of the heated discussions about the targeted nature of the third check.

After some back-and-forth, lawmakers compromised and now it looks like the third checks will go out with lower income cut offs which means that if an individual makes over $80,000 they will not receive a payment.

Due to these changes, roughly 8,000,000 people will likely lose out on eligibility.

But now there is even a new development that could prevent many Americans from receiving the third stimulus check.

Because the third round of checks is coming from a process known as budget reconciliation, they may not be protected from garnishment for unpaid debts.

They should be protected from outstanding tax debt or other debts collected by the government including child support but currently it does not look like they would be protected from collection for private debts.

Some consumer and banking trade groups are pushing for Congress to exempt these payments from garnishment.

“Otherwise, the families that most need this money — those struggling with debt and whose entire bank accounts may be frozen by garnishment orders — will be not be able to access their funds.”

You could imagine that a lot of people who need these checks the most have outstanding private debts that could be garnished so if that remains the case, this could be a huge blow to many people.

Hopefully this gets figured out soon but if the checks are subject to garnishment, some ways to get around them include closing your bank account linked to your IRS direct deposit and/or cashing your paper check at a store like Walmart.

These methods may require delayed receipt of payments and/or force you to pay fees but it would be better than not receiving anything at all.

I’ll be following this issue and updating this article when more information is known.


Could a fourth stimulus check be on the way?


The push for a fourth stimulus check (and beyond) is starting to gain a little bit more momentum and support as spring kicks off.

Back in January, 53 House Democrats wrote a letter to Biden and Harris, asking them to consider including recurring stimulus payments.

And now, Senate Democrats are planning on sending a letter to the White House tomorrow to get President Biden to back more stimulus payments.

We’ve seen the text of the letter before but lawmakers were waiting until they acquired more signatures before sending it off to the White House.

“This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads,” the letter stated.

“Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions.”

Senate Democrats have been able to double the support for recurring monthly payments, going from just 11 supporters up to 21.

Lawmakers who have signed the letter include:

  • Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 
  • Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
  • Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
  • Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
  • Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
  • Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
  • Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
  • Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

This letter actually pushes for recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment extensions that are tied to economic conditions.

Linking the payments to certain economic conditions would allow payments to go out without the need for lengthy negotiations since the amounts would already be set.

“You’re deciding what it is that will kick in at what time. It allows aid to get to people who need it the most and it’s reversed automatically as well,” Brian Kench, dean of the Pompea College of Business at the University of New Haven said.

“It’s a more rational solution to things you could implement during a crisis that pulls politicians out of the story.”

It’s still early to tell how realistic another stimulus check is.

However, we know the White House is planning on another huge stimulus bill so there’s a good chance we’ll see another package in the works soon that could contain more checks.



A recent report from TransUnion indicates that many Americans are still struggling one year after the pandemic began.

One year ago, a survey indicated that six in 10 adults saw a loss of income as a result of the pandemic. And now, approximately one year later, that figure is at four in 10.

So while things are not quite as bad as they once were, 40% of Americans experiencing decreased income is still a major issue that will need to be addressed.

While some Americans will be splurging with their new stimulus checks or even investing, a lot of Americans will be using these payments to cover essential expenses like debt followed by paying for housing, utilities and food.

And for some, this relief may only get them by for a couple of more months. Reportedly one in five adults are in “financial limbo” and not sure if their finances will recover (ever).

These are the type of figures that will be very important down the line as lawmakers consider a fourth stimulus check.

At this point, I think it is too early to tell what direction they will go in but it doesn’t seem unlikely that they might consider an even more targeted approach based on how many people are still struggling.



Well, you knew it was coming.

I’m referring to the talk about a fourth stimulus check.

For months, there have been some murmurings about providing relief to Americans beyond the third round of stimulus checks.

In fact, at one point 50 Democratic members of the House signed a letter asking President Biden to prioritize recurring direct checks.

As they stated in the letter:

“Another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities. One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis.”

The idea of recurring checks was enticing to many people but the price tag of this initiative was just too astronomical even for Democrats.

(I wouldn’t be surprised to see this initiative proposed once again but I don’t see any possibility for passing.)

But now that the third round of checks have started to go out, we will likely start to hear more about a potential fourth round.

The interesting thing to keep an eye on it will be if Democrats would resort to the budget reconciliation process again.

Typically, budget reconciliation is only available one time a year but I recall seeing reports that because the 2020 budget was postponed, lawmakers would be able to resort to budget reconciliation two times in 2021.

“There will be an opportunity to repeat this process in 2021, since no fiscal year 2021 budget resolution was adopted in calendar year 2020. That would allow Congress to first take up the overdue budget resolution for fiscal year 2021, use that to generate an initial reconciliation bill, and then take up a budget resolution for fiscal year 2022 (which begins on October 1, 2021) to generate a second reconciliation bill.”


It’s not clear to me how valid that claim was but if that is the case, Democrats would have a way to pass an additional round of stimulus checks without needing to win over Republicans who would never go for a fourth round.

It is still very early and millions of people are still waiting for the third stimulus check to hit. So we likely won’t hear a ton about this for a little while.

When the talks do start back up though I’m sure we will hear a lot about a package that would be even more targeted than what we have seen this last round.

It’s definitely something to keep an eye out for.

Next stimulus bill may be $3 trillion package with free community college

Now that the dust is starting to settle on the last stimulus package and many Americans are receiving stimulus checks, it’s time to start shifting focus to the next potential stimulus package.

We are already starting to hear about the next stimulus package that will make its way through Congress.

Reportedly, President Biden will be proposing a huge $3 trillion economic stimulus package in the next few months.

(It will likely be broken up into different bills but the overall price tag would be in that range.)

What exactly will this package entail?

We are not clear on the specifics just yet.

One major item that has gotten some attention is free community college, something that Biden showed support for during his 2020 presidential campaign.

It’s not clear if this free tuition would be based on income or some other criteria (such as occupation/trades) or just universally available. If free tuition never comes to be, you might still be able to find some cost effective community college courses utilizing sources like Unmudl.

Some are wondering if student loan forgiveness will be in the mix as well but that much is not clear. (Biden previously asked his Justice Department to review the legality of cancelling student debt through executive action.)

Other measures expected to be proposed include infrastructure improvements and a focus on green energy.

Universal Pre-K and paid sick and family leave are also on the table.

Of course, a lot of people will also be waiting to see if a fourth stimulus check is sent out.

Whether or not another check is issued will likely depend on things like the unemployment rate and the many surveys going out to measure the state of the economy such as those that measure loss of income.

It would not surprise me to see another check go out but I think it is highly likely that the fourth check will be even more targeted then the third, especially if the amount is not cut down significantly.


Stimulus payment controversy over “delayed” payments


More controversy is brewing over the third round of stimulus checks.

This time it is House Democrats who are unhappy that many people who are elderly, disabled, or veterans are facing delayed stimulus payments.

The problem relates to people who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement Board, or Veterans Affairs benefits.

These are typically people who don’t have to file tax returns.

They still have not gotten their third stimulus checks while millions of other Americans have. And that is not good considering these are some of the most financially vulnerable people.

“The SSA has to get the damn files to the IRS. They should have had it there yesterday so we can get these payments out. They should have got it last week. These are some of our most vulnerable neighbors,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) told The Hill.

“They’re the ones that are getting shafted because government agencies are not doing what they’re supposed to do.”

Senior members of the House Ways and Means Committee pointed out that the issue is likely the fault of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Basically, the IRS had requested payment files about two weeks before Biden signed the pandemic relief law into effect on March 11 for these individuals that number nearly 30 million. However, these files were not made ready in time.

The SSA stated that they were in discussions with the IRS ahead of time but that they did not have the authorization to send the files over before the pandemic relief was enacted.

So House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), John Larson (D-Conn.) and Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) wrote a demand letter to SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul.

“We demand that you immediately provide the IRS with this information by tomorrow.”

Reportedly, the SSA stated that these final files will be delivered to the IRS by Thursday.

“Social Security staff is working day and night with Treasury and IRS representatives to ensure that the electronic file of Social Security and SSI recipients is complete, accurate, and ready to be used to issue payments,” said SSA spokesperson Mark Hinkle.  

So hopefully we will see this issue resolved by the end of the week.




There is a sizable group of people who have not received the full amount that they expected for the third round of stimulus checks.

In fact, a lot of these people actually only received half of the amount of stimulus funds that they were expecting.

The reason?

Apparently, a lot of families that had joint filers are having the payments split and sent in separate transactions.

In some cases, these payments might even be going out in different routes.

So one spouse might receive a direct deposit in their bank account and the other spouse may receive a paper check or debit card.

Many people found that when they checked the IRS get my payment tool for a second time, the expected payment dates actually changed.

So if you don’t end up receiving your payment when you expect it, you might want to check that tool again and see if your payment date has changed.

Keep in mind that the next big batch of payments is expected to start going out tomorrow on the official payment date of March 24.

“A large number of this latest batch of payments will also be mailed, so taxpayers who do not receive a direct deposit by March 24 should watch the mail carefully in the coming weeks for a paper check or a prepaid debit card, known as an Economic Impact Payment Card, or EIP Card,” the IRS stated.



Yesterday, we heard about how many Americans were upset that payments were being delayed by some of the largest banks in the country.

Some even felt that this delay (which only lasted a couple of days) was intentional in order to allow the banks to maximize profit off fees such as overdraft fees.

But now a group of banking and credit union industry groups are defending the banks from criticism in an attempt to explain what has happened.

“The IRS recently sent an initial wave of tens of millions of economic impact payments via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system,” the banking groups said.

“The actual funds will be sent to the banks and credit unions on March 17, at which time funds will be made available to customers. Until that time, the funds remain with the government.” 

“While the IRS could have chosen to send the funds via Same Day ACH or provided for an earlier effective date, it chose not to do so,” they added.

“It is up to the sender, in this case the IRS, to decide when it wants the money to be made available and the IRS chose March 17.”

So according to these groups, the blame is really on the IRS for choosing not to send the funds via same day ACH.

Why wouldn’t the IRS send out the payments quicker? Who knows, perhaps it has something to do with tax time?

Or maybe they just did not anticipate the backlash that would occur when payments started going out before their official payment date.

I’m sure many people may not buy this explanation but it does make sense to me. The payments still seem to be set to go out on time since March 17 was always the official payment date.

Regardless of where you stand, at least we know that payments will start going out tomorrow from these large banking institutions and will arrive in the bank accounts of millions of Americans.



Stimulus checks are now being processed and millions of Americans are set to receive them over the next couple of weeks.

Some Americans are reportedly already receiving their checks. For example, Chime, the digital banking app, said on Friday that it had already delivered about $600 million in payments to around 250,000 customers.

“We’ve already made ~$600M available to 250k members. These payments will be available at traditional banks on 3/17 but Chime members already have access and more is on the way,” Chime stated on Twitter.

But others will be forced to wait at least a couple of more days.

The delay, while short, is proving to be controversial for a lot of people.

That is because Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase told customers that they may not receive their stimulus checks until at least Wednesday.

The reason that so many customers are unhappy is not so much about the length of the delay but why the delay is happening.

Some people believe the banks are intentionally delaying payments because they make a lot of money on fees such as overdraft charge fees.

Reportedly, these big banks make around $5 million per day on overdraft fees. (I have not personally fact checked this number.)

Wells Fargo spokesperson Jim Seitz attempted to clear up the situation.

“We know the importance of the stimulus funds to our customers, and we are providing the payments to our customers as soon as possible on the date the funds are available, based on IRS direction,” Seitz said.

“Wells Fargo is not holding the funds.”

Personally, it is odd that some lenders have already sent out so many payments over the weekend and these big banks for some reason don’t have that capability.

But I also question why those institutions would risk such a massive controversy when they would only be set to make $5 million on a couple of days (which is hardly anything for them).

I know these banks can be ruthless but the risk versus reward just doesn’t make sense to me.

It seems to me that the most likely culprit is some administrative or bureaucratic BS that is slowing down the process by a few days.

Remember, the IRS publicized Wednesday as the official payment date.

So while other banks have been ahead of the curve, if these big banks still send out the payments on Wednesday they are in line with the IRS deadline.


Breaking: Tax filing deadline extended


Last year, we saw the tax filing deadline moved from April 15 to July 15 due to all of the madness of the pandemic.

And this year, the IRS is planning to push back the tax filing deadline one month to May 15. (May 15 actually falls on a Saturday so reportedly the final deadline will be the following Monday.)

Keep in mind that if you are located in Texas, your tax filing deadline was likely pushed to June 15 based on the declaration of a disaster area by FEMA.



We previously saw the tax deadline for paying your taxes moved out 90 days from the filing date of April 15 to July 15. This was meant to provide financial relief for many Americans out there who will have to pay taxes and perhaps had the intention of stimulating the economy by keeping money in the pockets of consumers.

Well, if you have not filed your taxes yet there is even more good news because the filing deadline now has been moved out to July 15, 2020.

Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated “All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”
They did make a special note to those expecting to receive a tax refund, however. If you believe that you will receive a refund, they want you to file your taxes as soon as possible. Again, this is presumably to help stimulate the economy. The average recent tax return is about $2,500 to $3,000 depending on the year.

President Biden signs coronavirus package into law


President Joe Biden just signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package into law (one day prior to when we expected).

“This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving people in this nation, working people, middle class folks, people who built the country, a fighting chance,” Biden said.

“That’s what the essence of it is.”

The White House will be holding a celebration for the signing of the bill tomorrow.

It’s pretty crazy to think that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus a pandemic one year ago today.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO, said on this date last year that they are, “deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity” of the virus.

Over the course of the past 12 months, we’ve been following the developments for various stimulus packages and there has been a lot of ups and downs.

We’ve seen proposals come and go, rumors swirl, worries and concerns grow, and at times it has been just flat out exhausting and borderline depressing to keep up with all of it.

But now we are seeing vaccine distribution ramp up to high levels, venues beginning to open up, and there is a growing sense of hope that travel and events will be returning relatively soon.

It seems like we are now mostly done with dealing with horrific death surges and now it’s just a matter of time before the vaccines start to do their magic to bring infection rates down to negligible numbers.

While things are certainly trending toward a positive outcome, it’s possible that we might see another smaller stimulus package in the future and I will keep you updated if that is the case.

But it feels like with this $1.9 trillion stimulus deal now signed into law, we are starting to close the worst chapter on this virus.



The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill was just passed Wednesday by the House of Representatives.

House Democrats passed the legislation on party-line vote of 220-211. No Republicans voted in favor.

President Biden has said it to sign the bill into law on Friday afternoon.

“This bill represents a historic, historic victory for the American people. I look forward to signing it later this week,” he said.

“Everything in the American Rescue Plan addresses a real need – including investments to fund our entire vaccination effort. More vaccines, more vaccinators and more vaccination sites.”

This is great news because there was a little bit of concern that the House may want to make alterations to the bill that could slow down the process and potentially open up Pandora’s box in terms of more negotiations.

Considering all of the set backs that occurred leading up to the second round of checks, this process went by much smoother.

If the bill goes into law tomorrow then that means that stimulus checks could start going out a week from tomorrow.

However, it is also possible that payments might be delayed slightly due to the resources being used to process tax returns.

The eligibility criteria is different this time around and if you need a calculator to help you determine your expected payment, you can use the calculator found here.

Remember to keep an eye out in your mailbox because last time, some Americans had their payments switched from direct deposit to paper checks or debit cards.

So just because you received your funds electronically last time, that does not mean that you will not receive them via a paper check.


After getting passed by the Senate, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan stimulus package is now one step closer to becoming law.

The bill now has to go back to the House which must pass the Senate version in order to proceed without needing a committee to reconcile differences.

President Biden indicated that stimulus checks will start to go out by the end of this month.

“This plan will get checks out the door, starting this month, to the American people who so desperately need the help, many of whom are lying in bed at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering, ‘Will I lose my job, if I haven’t already? Will I lose my insurance? Will I lose my home?'” Biden said.

While it is not 100% official yet, it looks like the new eligibility criteria will go into effect for these checks.

This means that you will be entitled to the full $1,400 payment if you make $75,000 or less as an individual or $150,000 or less as a couple filing jointly.

However, if you make $80,000 or more as an individual, you will not be able legible for a payment at all.

That is a pretty big change from the prior proposed limits that allowed individuals to receive payments even when making up to $100,000.

In fact, roughly 8,000,000 people will likely lose out on eligibility. While that number is quite high, 200 million adults and 80 million children will still receive payments.

Things will be much better for families that qualify this go round.

President Biden noted that a typical middle-class family of four consisting of a husband and wife with two children and making $100,000 a year would qualify for direct payment of $5,600.

“That means the mortgage can get paid. That means the child can stay in community college. That means maintaining the health insurance you have. It’s going to make a big difference,” Biden said.

It is very likely that the House will pass the Senate version of the bill today. (If they don’t, then a joint committee will have to reconcile the differences between the two chambers.)

Assuming that the House passed the bill, it will likely be signed into law prior to March 14, 2021 which is in line with Biden’s prediction of checks going out later this month.

For the second round of stimulus checks, the IRS began making direct deposits just two days after the package was signed into law. And within three days, paper checks began going out. So this should be very doable.


Senate passes new coronavirus relief stimulus bill


In case you missed it yesterday, the Senate passed the new coronavirus relief stimulus bill.

This means that it is now time for the Senate and House to resolve any differences between their bills and approve the final version that will be sent over to President Biden for him to sign.

If things go smoothly, this could happen as soon as early next week.

The self-imposed deadline for Democrats has been for the bill to become law by March 14 so they are on track to meet this deadline.

We could see stimulus checks start going out about one week after that date if things go well and we’d likely see the bulk of direct deposit payments sent out by the end of April/early May.

Just like other rounds, direct deposit recipients are expected to receive funds the quickest followed by those receiving physical checks and the EIP cards.

During the past two rounds, we saw issues with direct deposit both times.

Various problems arose such as funds going to the wrong bank accounts. So hopefully, the process for direct deposit recipients will not involve any major errors.

Paper checks and EIP cards are sent out after direct deposit but may only lag behind by a week or two. (Last time, those receiving the EIP cards were last.)

The IRS has switched up the payment method for some individuals so for example some people who received a check the first round received an EIP card the second round. (Some people were even switched from direct deposit to a physical check.)

So as these payments start going out, be sure to closely inspect your mail even if you are expecting an electronic payment.

It’s not clear how long it will take for everybody to receive their funds. For the second round, distribution was pretty quick but the current text of the bill states that December 31, 2021 would be the deadline for the IRS to finish sending checks.

Because these will be going out right in the middle of tax season, things could get slowed down a little bit.

If you have not signed up for direct deposit with the IRS, it is highly recommended that you do so.

And if your income dropped in 2020, you may want to try to file your taxes in the next couple of days to ensure that you can receive the maximum amount for the stimulus checks.

Remember, the new income cut off looks like it’s going to be $80,000 per year for an individual.

So if your 2019 income was between $80,000 and $100,000 and it dropped below $80,000 in 2020, you most likely want to file quickly so your payment will be based on your new (eligible) income.



There is some big news expected today.

Reports indicate that the Senate is planning on passing the new stimulus bill sometime today.

It looks like the new stimulus check threshold will go into effect which means that you will be entitled to the full $1,400 payment if you make at/under $75,000.

For couples, this income limit will be $150,000.

The big drawback to this bill for many is that the threshold for a partial payment was dropped from $100,000 to $80,000 for individuals and $200,000 down to $160,000 for a couples.

This will still provide aid for Americans who need it the most but unfortunately there will be millions of people who know longer receive stimulus aid this round.

“It’s going to provide immediate relief for millions of people that are going to be able to use it in a very constructive way and also grow the economy in the process,” President Biden said.

This news comes at a time when both supporters and opponents of the new stimulus bill have been surprised by good employment numbers.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 375,000 new jobs were created last month which was nearly double their expectations.

This data may have played a role in the compromise that was made on unemployment benefits as they dropped from $400 to $300 per week.

These numbers are very encouraging especially since we expect vaccine distribution to start to ramp up in the next month.

But the economy is still down about 9.5 million jobs since the start of the pandemic one year ago.

“This is a larger jobs hole than at any point in the Great Recession,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

“At this month’s pace, it will take us more than two years to get to pre-pandemic employment levels, and will take even longer at the average pace over the last three months.”

So there is still work that needs to be done.




Lawmakers have been very busy in the last 48 hours trying to finalize the next stimulus package.

So far, it looks like there have been some major compromises made on some pretty big issues.

The first was dropping the increase of the minimum wage to $15. This was dropped due to violating the chamber’s rules and also probably because of a lack of support from moderates.

Another one of the biggest compromises is on the stimulus checks.

It’s looking more likely that the cut off for receiving a stimulus payment will be $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for couples.

The payments will remain at $1,400 but there are many millions of people who will not be eligible for a payment this round most likely.

The other major compromise that just happened relates to unemployment benefits. Reportedly, this benefit will be reduced from $400 to $300 each week.

As part of that compromise though, the payments will be extended through September and the taxes on these benefits will be reduced, so it’s not all a loss.

A lot of these compromises are happening to make sure that moderate Democrats get on board because Democrats need at least 50 votes from lawmakers to pass this bill via reconciliation.

This would require every Democrat to be on board assuming no Republican support which is probable.

We recently heard a report that these 50 Democrat votes were not necessarily guaranteed which is probably why we are seeing so many compromises being made now.

It sounds like lawmakers are aiming to finalize the package over the weekend which means that it will head back to the House and then the White House next week, at which point it could become law.

This means that stimulus checks could start going out and as soon as two weeks that we might see some last minute delays in the negotiations.




While many experts have speculated that Democrats have the votes necessary to pass the next stimulus bill, that might not necessarily be the case.

Democratic Whip Dick Durbin provided a statement today that is casting a little bit of doubt on whether or not Democrats will have the necessary 50 votes to push forward the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill.

“In terms of whether or not we can hold it with 50 Democratic members staying loyal to the the very end and the vice president coming in to break the tie, that still remains to be seen,” said Durbin.

“As a whip, you don’t assume anything until the roll call is made.” 

Durbin reiterated that negotiations were ongoing stating that, “there are active discussions under way… we shouldn’t assume the ultimate outcome until it happens.”

This is pretty interesting because most reports indicated that only two Democratic senators were not on board with the current package.

These two lawmakers appeared to be more open to a targeted approach which is exactly what looks like is going to happen.

So one has to wonder if some of the opposition is now coming from Democratic lawmakers who prefer a less targeted approach.

Perhaps they are trying to hold out for a bill that does not cut off eligibility at $80,000 for individuals.

It’s difficult to tell but this is slightly worrying. During the last stimulus negotiations, there were a couple of points that looked like real progress was about to happen and then everything would blow up and take many steps back.

I’m not saying that it’s going to happen again but it is true that we need to be careful with our assumptions of what is going to happen before we know definitively how votes will be cast.

A lot can still change.



There is some pretty big news related to stimulus checks coming out today.

According to CNN, “President Joe Biden has agreed to a compromise with moderate Democrats to narrow the income eligibility for the next round of $1,400 stimulus checks.”

Just how narrow will things be?

Well, the current draft of the bill sets the income caps at $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for couples.

But the new proposal would impose cut offs at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for couples.

So if you are in that $80,000-$100,000 income bracket as an individual, you might not be eligible for another stimulus check.

The good news is that the same standards will apply when it comes to calculating who is eligible for the full payment.

This means that individuals earning under $75,000 and couples earning under $150,000 will receive the full $1400 payment.

So basically, the big change here is that the stimulus payment will phase out much quicker, but I don’t think they have released the full details of the phase out structure.

It sounds like members of the Senate are continuing to work on the final text of the bill but that we might see them push it forward by the end of this week or perhaps next week.



Yesterday, a group of moderate Democrats met with President Biden at the White House to discuss potential amendments to the coronavirus relief package passed by the House of Representatives on Friday.

One of the top items for discussion was the targeted nature of the bill.

“We talked about the package and we talked about targeting dollars,” Senator Jon Tester of Montana said.

One of the key members of this meeting was Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Manchin is one of the key votes needed to pass the stimulus checks as they currently exist.

For sometime now, he has been a vocal proponent of a more targeted approach, especially as it relates to stimulus checks.

Apparently he and his staff are currently going through the bill and talking with party leaders to ensure that the stimulus measures are targeted enough.

Based on these reports (and recent statements from the White House that Biden is open to negotiating the targeted of nature of the checks,) it’s starting to look like we might see lower income thresholds for the checks.

The big question is just how low would they be willing to set the bar?

Currently, an individual earning under $75,000 a year could receive the full $1,400 payment and married couples earning less than $150,000 a year could receive the full $2,800.

But based on the discussions taking place right now with lawmakers and with the White House, we could see changes in the income limits.

Apparently, these moderate Democrats are most worried about high income earners receiving the direct payments.

So that makes me think that the changes would most likely be on the upper end of the income limits and not the lower end.

In other words, it’s possible that the threshold for receiving the full payment could remain at $75,000 a year while the phase out limit could be brought down.

I think it would be extremely unlikely to see the amount of the stimulus checks change as we have received assurance from the White House that President Biden has no interest in that route.

Hopefully, we will learn more details in the coming days.



3/1/21 Update:

The latest stimulus bill has passed the House and is now on its way to the Senate.

“We must move swiftly and pass it in the Senate,” Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez tweeted after the House vote. “The people need help now.”

But there are still some big questions about what will happen to the bill in the Senate. For example, will this bill come out of the Senate looking different from the bill that passed the House?

According to experts, the answer to that question is yes.

Lawmakers in the Senate are already discussing making changes and there will likely be many amendments that are taken up as well.

“This is democracy in action,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

“We know that the bill will look different on the way out.”

So what type of changes could happen?

The biggest change that would affect most people would likely be a potential change to the stimulus checks.

It sounds like lawmakers are pretty set on $1,400 as the amount for the stimulus checks. But there is still a possibility that there could be modifications made to the eligibility such as the income limits.

We are even hearing that President Biden is still willing to negotiate on the targeted nature of the checks.

“He has not been willing to negotiate on the size of the checks, but there has been a targeting to ensure that it hits the Americans who need that help the most,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

“That’s an idea that has come up in meetings with Democrats and Republicans. And he’s certainly open to hearing from their ideas.”

That doesn’t mean that the income limits will change but it is possible that there could be some alterations. So that is something big to keep an eye out for.

Another big change could be to the amount given to state and local aid. Currently, $350 billion is being budgeted for state and local governments but that could soon change. Specifically, there’s been a push to allocate $50 billion to expand high-speed internet connections.

“As Congress considers additional relief efforts to manage the virus, it must continue to recognize that an investment in high-speed broadband internet for all Americans is a necessary component of our nation’s recovery,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer and two other lawmakers, Rep. Tom Reed and Abigail Spanberger, wrote.

Then there is the big issue related to minimum wage.

The House voted to pass the increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2025. However, Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that the provision could not be included in the budget reconciliation bill based on procedural rules.

This is probably the most likely big measure to fall from the bill as there doesn’t seem to be a consensus of support among all Democrats, which would be needed.

We may see some amendments tossed around to try to get this measure to pass in some other type of form but it seems like the best chance for an increase of the minimum wage to pass is at another time in another bill.

Now that the bill is in the Senate we should start to hear more about the negotiations surrounding the bill and have a better sense of what will be possible.



2/27/21 Update:

Millions of Americans are now one step closer to receiving a third stimulus check.

This is because early this morning, the House of Representative passed the budget reconciliation bill that will push forward President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

The budget reconciliation route was likely necessary because this bill would not have garnered support from the 60 votes that would’ve been needed to avoid a filibuster.

The bill will now make its way to the Senate which is expected to vote on the measure by March 14.

The IRS predicts that they could start processing the third round of stimulus checks in about one week after that date.

As drafted, individuals will receive $1,400 payments if they qualify for the full amount by having an adjusted gross income of under $75,000. Married couples filing a joint return have an income threshold of up to $150,000.

The biggest change is that qualifying dependents will receive an additional $1,400 and more people can qualify as dependents. (This means that many more college students and elderly parents will likely be eligible this round.)

If you are still not sure about how much you can receive from the third round of stimulus checks, you can use this calculator here.



2/25/21 Update:

We finally got a decision on whether or not the measure to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 will be allowed to go forward to the Senate via budget reconciliation.

And it will NOT be allowed based on the ruling from the Senate parliamentarian.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed that he was disappointed but pledged to continue to push for an increased minimum wage.

“We are not going to give up the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 to help millions of struggling American workers and their families,” Schumer said.

“The American people deserve it, and we are committed to making it a reality.”

The White House also claimed President Biden was disappointed in the decision but that he “urges Congress to move quickly to pass” the relief.

While this measure will not go forward now, there will undoubtedly be efforts to increase the minimum wage in the future.

In fact, we’re already seeing them.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders said that in the coming days he “will be working with my colleagues in the Senate to move forward with an amendment to take tax deductions away from large, profitable corporations that don’t pay workers at least $15 an hour and to provide small businesses with the incentives they need to raise wages.”

There have also been recent proposals to increase the minimum wage to a lower number such as $10 or $11. So most likely we will see this debate return very soon and perhaps it will take a different form at some point.



2/24/21 Update:

Later this week, the House is expected to vote on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal.

Most experts predict that the House will pass the bill in a party line vote, so more than likely this bill will be heading to the Senate at the end of the week.

We are still awaiting a decision on whether or not the provision raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2025 will be included.

That decision is likely going to come down to Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough.

She is a nonpartisan parliamentarian who is hearing arguments from both parties before ruling on whether or not the measure can be passed.

Until now, many people have not heard about MacDonough but she is currently one of the most influential actors in government.

It is possible that MacDonough could make a decision as soon as tonight but it is also possible that this could go on for a few days.

If she decides that passing the minimum wage measure is in violation of the Byrd rule (which requires all provisions in the proposed bill to be budget elated), then we may not see the increase in minimum wage go forward.

I say “might” because it is still possible that Democrats could waive the decision and proceed anyway.

But that would be a very controversial move on top of the budget reconciliation move which is already a bit controversial with Republicans.

If she rules that the bill can contain an increased minimum wage, there still is no guarantee it will pass in the Senate.

It is very likely that this provision would continue to face pushback from Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, which could make passing this via budget reconciliation very difficult or even impossible.

We might see a compromise take place which is what Manchin wants.

“$11 is the right place to be,” he said.

“Throwing $15 out there right now just makes it very difficult in rural America.”

Other lawmakers such as Mitt Romney and Tom Cotton have already introduced a bill to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2025, so there is clearly an appetite for compromise.

The issue is that bill lumped in issues related to the hiring of undocumented immigrants which would likely not win over Democrats.

So even if the votes are not there to support increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, there is a good chance that we will see an initiative to pass a separate bill with a smaller increase in the minimum wage.



2/23/21 Update:

As expected, the House Budget Committee voted today to advance Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

The vote was 19 to 16 with one Democrat, Lloyd Doggett of Texas, joining the Republicans in opposition.

Apparently, his vote in opposition was an accident although I’m not sure how that happened….

This passage means that the bill is headed to the House floor for a vote later this week.

The package includes several large measures including more aid to small businesses, the infamous $1,400 stimulus checks, an increase in the child tax credit, funding for local and state governments, and a lot of funds for a vaccine distribution.

The large item up for debate is the increased minimum wage.

Supposedly, members in the Senate will sit down as soon as tomorrow with Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough to figure out whether the $15 minimum wage is permitted via the budget reconciliation process.

This will be a major decision and dictate the direction that the stimulus package takes.

Experts on both sides have raised points as to why the minimum wage should be allowed to be included. Experts on both sides have also shown wildly different outcomes when it comes to the projected deficit this would create.

So it’s a bit difficult to know who really knows what they’re talking about right now.

But even if lawmakers do decide that the minimum wage can be included, there is no guarantee that there will be enough votes to pass it because two Democrat moderates — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — have expressed reservations.

Hopefully, with the meeting set up for tomorrow we will start to get a clear indication about the federal minimum wage increase. Also, if the House can take care of voting this week then it looks like the Senate will be on track to pass the package by the middle of March.


2/22/21 Update:

This week is set to be a very important week for the next stimulus bill.

It is expected that the The House Budget Committee will approve the 591 page stimulus package today allowing it to move forward in the House.

It is then expected that the bill will get a vote and probably pass the House by the end of the week.

This would give the Senate and the president about two weeks to finalize and pass the stimulus bill before hitting their self-imposed deadline of March 14 (which is the date that federal unemployment benefits expire).

This timeline would mean that the third round of stimulus checks would begin going out around March 21st.

If the bill passes as currently drafted, the stimulus checks will be $1,400 for individuals eligible for the full amount and it is also possible that families will be able to claim an additional $1,400 for dependents.

In addition to that, families with children may be eligible for increased tax credits.

It is still unclear what is going to happen with the federal increase in minimum wage.

Some senators such as Bernie Sanders, the new chair of the Senate Budget Committee, are confident that the measure will pass through Congress and become law.

“Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is not incidental to the federal budget and is permissible under the rules of reconciliation,” Sanders said in a statement.

“The CBO has found that the $15 minimum wage has a much greater impact on the federal budget than opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and repealing the individual mandate penalties — two provisions that the parliamentarian advised did not violate the Byrd Rule when Republicans controlled the Senate.“

“I’m confident that the parliamentarian will advise next week that we can raise the minimum wage through the reconciliation process.”

But others are not so sure the measure will pass.

It looks like there is almost unanimous opposition to the bill in the Republican party and there are at least a couple of moderate Democrats not on board.

There are disputed conclusions that different studies arrived at showing the economic impact of increasing the federal minimum wage. Some show that it would drive up the deficit by $54 billion while another study found that it would cut the deficit by more than $65 billion.

There are also the findings that close to 1 million people would move out of poverty at the expense of losing 1.4 million jobs.

And finally, there is also the legality of increasing the minimum wage through the budget reconciliation route which I don’t believe is completely settled.

Although some lawmakers like Sanders are confident this move would be allowed, it will come down to whether or not the minimum wage is considered an “extraneous matter” prohibited by the Byrd rule.

According to Politico, “The Byrd rule considers provisions that don’t change revenues or outlays to be ‘extraneous,’ or makes changes to revenues or outlays that are ‘merely incidental.'”

I’m sure the Senate will be hotly debating this interpretation in the next couple of weeks and we will have to see how those debates go before knowing how this outcome will play out.


2/17/21 Update:

According to the Internal Revenue Service, all of the $600 stimulus checks that were approved last year have been sent out. In some cases, the checks might still be in the mail but at this point they have reportedly all been sent out.

The IRS distributed more than 147 million direct payments for the second round of stimulus checks that total over $142 billion.

This was a relatively quick distribution process as they were required to send them out by January 15, 2021.

So in just about one month from that deadline all of the available payments were sent out which seems to be an improvement from the first round which took several months.

Although things went smoother the second round, there were still about 13 million checks that were mistakenly sent out to bank accounts or invalid addresses.

If you did not receive a check or did not receive the full amount you were due, you still may be able to receive the payment as a rebate when you file your taxes for 2020.

There’s something known as the Recovery Rebate Credit and it can be found on line 30 of 2020 tax Form 1040 or 1040-SR. You’ll need to know how much of the payment you are entitled to when filling out the form.

If you would like to expedite receipt of the credit, you should file your tax return electronically. Keep in mind that anyone who earns under $72,000 can file their tax return electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program.

If your income decreased in 2020 and/or you had a child, chances are you will likely want to file your taxes as soon as possible. Depending on what exactly occurred with your income and what lawmakers draft up, you could be entitled to a $1,400 check and tax credits.


When President Biden ran for president and as he campaigned during the Georgia runoff elections, he emphasized that quick action would be needed for the next relief package.

“We don’t have a second to waste when it comes to delivering the American people the relief they desperately need,” he said.

But now, as Biden has been in office for 45 days, lawmakers and some people in the public are starting to get a little impatient with how long it’s taking to get this next round of relief out.

A couple of days ago, former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner wrote that “it’s been 42 days since we installed a new Congress. It’s time the American People got their $2,000 checks.”

The impatience is real this time around because Democrats have control in both the House and the Senate.

During 2020, Democrats only controlled the House and Republicans controlled the Senate so it was a lot more understandable that the process would drag on (and indeed it did drag on for months).

But that is not the case any longer and people are well aware of that.

Journalist Walker Bragman wrote, “Joe Biden has been in office almost a month with a Democratic House and Senate. Still no $2,000 relief checks…”

The silver lining is that Democrats are proposing to push a pretty huge $1.9 trillion relief package that will have profound consequences on many Americans. So when the relief finally arrives, it will be big.

Bernie Sanders recently reiterated this when he wrote, “The Covid relief bill when passed is going to do a lot of good for working Americans, but one thing that simply cannot be emphasized enough is that it will cut child poverty IN HALF – the biggest reduction in modern history. That’s why we must act and act quickly.”

According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Biden is currently hitting the road this week to discuss relief with voters.

“The president is looking forward to getting out in the country, engaging with people about his plans to get relief, direct checks into their hands and expedite vaccine distribution and reopen schools,” Psaki said.

It’s good to hear that the president is on the ground hearing what members of the public have to say about their needs.

But the pressure to act quickly is only going to continue to mount and if Democrats do not meet their self-imposed deadlines to get something done in the next few weeks, there is going to be a lot of backlash.



Stimulus update: why you should file your taxes ASAP

$1,400 stimulus checks pass through House committee

House pushes forward with $1,400 checks

$10,000 stimulus checks proposed by Republican

Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of different proposals regarding stimulus checks.

There have been proposals for checks as low as a couple of hundred bucks all the way up to recurring $1200 stimulus checks that would go on for months and months.

But we just saw an amendment proposed by Arizona Republican Paul Gosar that surprised a lot of people.

He has proposed slashing non-relief spending and increasing stimulus checks by a dramatic amount — up to $10,000!

“I offered an amendment to prioritize $10,000 stimulus checks to Americans most affected by COVID-19 and lockdowns,” Gosar said to Fox News.

“Instead, Democrats chose foreign aid, Big Tech transit, and Pelosi’s political priorities over direct relief to American citizens.”

Is amendment would do away with several agenda items from the  American Rescue Plan. These include measures like support for the arts, federal and corporate transit projects, and what he calls “vaccine confidence activities.”

Some lawmakers and other members of the media are calling this a trolling attempt.

Essentially, the senator is trying to show that lawmakers could provide a lot more aid to the American people if they removed other measures that don’t seem directly related to helping Americans survive the pandemic.

“People need help with car payments, mortgage and rent, and everyday necessities,” Gosar said.

“The government broke it. Now government must fix it. The people, not corporations or billionaires, need this money to survive,” he added, saying a $10,000 stimulus check should considered “a down payment.”

As you would probably expect, the amendment was not very popular with us Democrats and did not go anywhere.

While this is a bit of a joke, it does point out that many Republicans are not happy with the distribution of funding for this stimulus proposal.

Even some Democrats like Jared Golden of Maine were not on board which is why they voted against the measure in the House.

“During challenging times, the country needs its elected leaders to work together to meet the most urgent needs in their communities. This bill addresses urgent needs, and then buries them under a mountain of unnecessary or untimely spending,” Golden said.

“In reviewing the bill in its full scope, less than 20 percent of the total spending addresses core COVID challenges that are immediately pressing: funding for vaccine distribution and testing, and emergency federal unemployment programs,” he added. 

The questionable distribution of stimulus funds could cause more division among lawmakers as we get further into Biden’s term.

This is especially true because these measures are getting pushed forward through budget reconciliation.

So it will be interesting to watch if in the future Republicans and Democrats can come together and “unify” despite the tactics. At this point, it’s looking more like the answer to that question is going to be no but we’ll see how things play out.


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