Minutes after President Biden signed the COVID-19 relief plan, the White House took stock of the start of the third round of stimulus checks.
WASHINGTON – After more than two months of anxious wait for millions of Americans, President Joe Biden enacted a $ 1.9 trillion COVID relief plan that includes $ 1,400 direct payment stimulus checks.
Congress gave final approval to the “American rescue plan” Wednesday and he then went to Biden for his signing.
Biden had originally planned to sign the bill on Friday afternoon, but White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain tweeted Thursday that the bill had arrived faster than expected, so they decided to sign it. a day earlier.
Minutes after Biden enacted the bill, the White House provided an important schedule update for the start of the third round of stimulus checks.
When will the third stimulus check be sent?
The Democrats’ goal was to pass the bill by Sunday, March 14. This is when Supplemental Unemployment Assistance and other pandemic assistance expires.
With Biden signing the plan on Thursday, Democrats have achieved that goal.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced shortly after Biden signed the bill that the IRS and the Treasury Department were working hard to secure the payments. She said some people will see direct deposits hit their bank accounts as early as this weekend.
“This is of course only the first wave, but some people in the country will start to see these direct deposits into their bank accounts this weekend and payments to eligible Americans will continue over the next few weeks,” Psaki explained. .
The IRS said on Friday that payments were already being processed and agreed that direct deposits would start arriving this weekend.
During the first round of stimulus checks in April 2020, it took about two weeks for the federal government to start distributing the money. It took about a week for the second round of checks, worth $ 600, in early January, in part because the infrastructure for the first stimulus was in place.
One factor that could complicate matters is that it’s tax season too. The IRS will try to send out stimulus checks while processing incoming tax returns and calculating refunds.
Who gets $ 1,400 stimulus checks?
The House and Senate versions of the bill agreed that individual filers who earn up to $ 75,000 per year will receive $ 1,400. Couples who jointly deposit up to $ 150,000 will receive $ 2,800. There will also be $ 1,400 added for each dependent in the household.
Where they differed was how quickly the stimulus money would gradually be reduced to zero. The original House bill passed on February 27 called for the elimination to be complete at $ 100,000 for individuals and $ 200,000 for couples. But the Senate version passed on March 6 lowered it to $ 80,000 and $ 160,000, respectively. This version of the Senate is what the House passed on Wednesday.
About 8 million fewer households will receive a check under the Senate bill than what the House passed, according to an analysis by the Center for Tax Policy.
CALCULATOR: Here is an Omni Calculator tool this can help you determine how much you might receive
RELATED: Third Stimulus Check Update: House Gives Final Approval to COVID Bill with Payments of $ 1,400
Why is the stimulus $ 1,400 and not $ 2,000?
Biden’s plan called for checks of $ 1,400 for most Americans, which, in addition to the $ 600 provided in the latest COVID-19 bill, would bring the total to the $ 2,000 requested by Biden.
But Biden initially didn’t make that differentiation. Biden said on January 4 during a campaign For Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock ahead of the second round of Georgian Senate elections, “Their election will end Washington’s blocking of this $ 2,000 stimulus check. This money will come out immediately.”
RELATED: CHECK OUT: Most of the COVID Relief Bill is Aimed at Things Related to COVID
RELATED: Biden Won’t Put His Name On Stimulus Checks, White House Says
What else in the COVID relief bill?
Expanded federal unemployment benefits would be extended until September 6 to $ 300 per week. This is in addition to what beneficiaries receive through their state unemployment insurance program. The first $ 10,200 of unemployment benefits would be tax-free for households with incomes below $ 150,000.
In addition, the measures provide for a 100% subsidy of COBRA’s health insurance premiums to ensure that laid-off workers can continue to benefit from their employer’s health plans free of charge until the end of September.
The legislation would send $ 350 billion to state and local governments and tribal governments for costs incurred through the end of 2024. The bill also requires small states to receive at least the amount they received under. virus legislation passed by Congress last March.
Many communities have hit their tax bases during the pandemic, but the impact varies from state to state and city to city. Critics say the funding is not properly targeted and is far more than needed with billions of dollars allocated last spring to states and communities still unspent.
The bill provides approximately $ 130 billion in additional assistance to schools for kindergarten to grade 12 students. The money would be used to reduce class sizes and modify classrooms to improve social distancing, install ventilation systems and purchase personal protective equipment. The money could also be used to increase the hiring of nurses and counselors and to offer summer courses.
Spending for colleges and universities would be increased by around $ 40 billion, with the money being used to cover an institution’s pandemic-related expenses and provide emergency assistance to students to cover expenses such as food , housing and computer equipment.
A new program for restaurants and bars affected by the pandemic would receive $ 25 billion. Grants provide up to $ 10 million per business with a limit of $ 5 million per physical location. Grants can be used to cover salaries, rent, utilities, and other operational expenses.
The bill also provides $ 7.25 billion for the paycheck protection program, a tiny fraction of what was allocated in previous legislation. The bill also allows more nonprofits to apply for loans designed to help borrowers meet their salaries and operating costs and which can potentially be forgiven.
The bill provides $ 46 billion to expand federal, state and local testing for COVID-19 and to improve contract tracing capabilities with new investments to expand lab capacity and set up mobile testing units . It also contains approximately $ 14 billion to accelerate the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines across the country.
Parts of the legislation advance long-standing Democratic priorities, such as increasing coverage under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. Financial assistance for ACA premiums would become considerably more generous and more strong middle-class households would qualify. While the softened grants only last until the end of 2022, they will lower the cost of coverage and are expected to increase the number of people enrolled.
The measure also puts more money ahead of a dozen states, mostly in the South, which have yet to embrace the expansion of Medicaid available under the ACA to cover more low-income adults. . It’s unclear whether such a sweetener would be enough to begin to weaken long-standing Republican opposition to the expansion of Medicaid.
Under current law, most taxpayers can reduce their federal income tax bill by up to $ 2,000 per child. In a significant change, the bill would increase the tax break to $ 3,000 for each child aged 6 to 17 and to $ 3,600 for each child under the age of 6.
The legislation also provides for payments to be made monthly instead of a lump sum. If the Secretary of the Treasury determines that this is not possible, payments should be made as frequently as possible.
Families would get all the credit, no matter how little they earn in a year, which has led to criticism that the changes have a chilling effect on work. Add in the $ 1,400 checks and other elements of the proposal, and the legislation would more than halve the number of children living in poverty, according to Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy.
The bill also significantly expands the earned income tax credit for 2021 by making it accessible to people without children. The credit for low and moderate income adults would be worth $ 543 to $ 1,502, depending on income and deposit status.
The bill provides about $ 30 billion to help low-income households and the unemployed pay rent and utilities, and to help the homeless with vouchers and other aids. States and tribes would receive an additional $ 10 billion for homeowners struggling to pay off their mortgages due to the pandemic.