$1400 Stimulus Checks Pass as $1.9 Trillion Relief Package Inches Forward

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (11756147d)President Joe Biden talks to staff at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
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Democrats are one step further in advancing President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, as the House Ways and Means Committee said that it had approved key measures of the plan yesterday – including $1400 checks.

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“Over the last two days, the Ways and Means Committee has considered aggressive, science-based solutions that will deliver the urgent relief our country so desperately needs. From unemployment benefits to health care affordability, the work we’ve done is substantial, and it is exactly what the American people have been calling on us to do to meet this moment,” Committee Chairman Richard Neal said in a statement.

“To my colleagues on the Committee, the amazing Committee staff, and the many others who worked around the clock to make this happen, thank you for putting the American people first and showing them that help is on the way. I look forward to this package passing Congress and President Biden signing it into law,” Neal added.

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In total, the Ways and Means Committee approved $593.5 billion in benefits, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation data.

Several committees are working on the bill and the Ways and Means Committee’s portion of the bill includes provisions to: approve the $1,400 direct payments; extend temporary federal unemployment and benefits through August 29, 2021; increases the weekly benefit from $300 to $400; expand tax credits targeted at workers and families; support health coverage and improves health care affordability; and protect the elderly in nursing homes, according to a statement.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said yesterday in her weekly press conference that markups are expected to finish in committee this week. A committee markup is the key formal step a committee ultimately takes for the bill to advance to the floor, according to the Congress website.

The next steps, Pelosi said, is to send it to the Budget Committee next week for them to work their will on it, then to the Rules Committee, and then to the Floor, she said in her remarks.

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We hope to have this all done by the end of February, certainly on the President’s desk in time to offset the March 14th deadline where some unemployment benefits will expire,” she added.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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