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New stimulus bill: Latest update on $1,400 check, federal minimum wage hike, more

by Clifford Colby | Story Source    Tuesday February 23, 2021 - 12:01 AM
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* STIMULUS BILL *
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New stimulus bill: Latest update on $1,400 check, federal minimum wage hike, more
Congress is rushing to complete President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package with $1,400 checks in the next few weeks. Here's what you need to know about where the bill stands.

The $1.9 trillion stimulus bill is on track to pass in the House this weekend. On Monday, House Democrats are marking up the bill, an important step in getting it ready for a vote on the floor. The sweeping COVID-19 relief package includes $1,400 stimulus checks, and would renew federal unemployment benefits and increase funding for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Democrats have a lot to still work out, however, before sending the final bill to President Joe Biden to sign, including whether to include a provision to boost the minimum wage and cancel student-loan debt.

To get the bill to Biden as quickly as possible, Congressional Democrats are relying on a legislative technique called budget reconciliation that will let them bypass expected Republican opposition to the legislation. While Republican leaders say the nearly $2 trillion price tag is simply too high, The New York Times reported, Democrats point to a recent survey that shows Republican voters support a larger stimulus package. The reconciliation tool, however, puts strict limits on what can and cannot be included in the bill, and the Democrats' plan to raise the minimum wage may fall outside those limits.

Keeping to the aggressive timeline would deliver a new stimulus payment as soon as next month, right in the middle of tax season (here's why that matters). The legislation would also potentially extend federal unemployment aid through August and fund vaccine distribution. Here's everything important the package could contain. This story was updated with new information.

A $1,400 third stimulus check, with an upper income limit Congressional Democrats look set on the $1,400 stimulus check amount, including possible new rules to "target" or restrict the checks to lower income earners than those who qualified for the first two payments. A hard ceiling on income, designed to exclude higher earners from getting a check, would come with a rule change for the use of dependents in the stimulus check formula. In other words, previously you could go over that cap amount if you had dependents, but under the new rules you get no more money beyond that amount. Check out our stimulus payment calculator to see how that could work for you.

The new proposal would give the IRS a deadline of Dec. 31 this year to finish sending the stimulus checks.

For this third round of payments, the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats are pushing to include adult dependents as well as children and families with mixed-status citizenship. Here are all the ways a third check could bring more money, or how you could get less or be disqualified altogether. Here's what happens to your total if a check arrives during tax season.

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