Feb 23, 2021
This Is a Make-or-Break Week for New Stimulus Checks
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The House Budget Committee advanced the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on Monday, and in doing so, moved Congress one step closer to approving a round of $1,400 relief payments to help Americans through the coronavirus crisis.The House of Representatives is aiming to hold a floor vote on the proposal this week, according to The New York Times and tweets from Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
Democrats are attempting to usher through the payments via budget reconciliation, a legislative process that requires only a simple majority of votes in the Senate to pass a bill (as opposed to the normal 60). It may be an uphill battle given some Republicans’ reticence to pass such a costly package, but speed seems to be the priority.
“Without this relief package, conditions will spiral further out of control and families will suffer needlessly,” Budget Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., said in a news release. “We have the plan and the fiscal space, we have the American people behind us, and now we have the bill to get it done.”
Here’s what you need to know.
Originally suggested by President Joe Biden, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan calls for items like expanded unemployment benefits, an increased child tax credit and a $15 minimum wage. It also allows for “2021 recovery rebates to individuals,” a fancy term for stimulus checks.
Single filers would get $1,400, and married couples who file jointly would receive $2,800, plus $1,400 per dependent.
Biden’s stance is that this $1,400, combined with the $600 payment distributed in early January, equals the $2,000 stimulus he’s championed. (Not everyone agrees.)
Income limits for the third stimulus would be the same as previous ones. The payments would phase out for single filers earning over $75,000, heads of household earning over $112,500, and couples earning over $150,000.How will the third stimulus check differ from the first two?
The first and second stimulus checks provided $500 and $600 per dependent under age 17, respectively. This meant adult dependents and college students were excluded. But the third proposal doesn’t appear to have an age limit, which is good news for families.
Another potential change is that the previous two rounds of stimulus payments were based on IRS data from people’s 2018 and 2019 tax returns. The American Rescue Plan instructs the IRS to use people’s 2019 tax information to calculate the amount of their third stimulus check — unless they’ve already filed their 2020 tax return. In that case, the agency would use the most recent return it has on file.
The legislation directs the government to distribute the third stimulus payments “as rapidly as possible,” with a deadline of Dec. 31, 2021.
In a Friday Twitter video, Biden said people can get the money “as soon as the House and Senate pass my legislation.” As for the overall package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she’s hoping to have it “all done by the end of February” and “on the president’s desk” by mid-March.
To prepare to get your potential third stimulus check, make sure the IRS has your direct deposit information. You may also want to electronically file your taxes now so the government has an accurate income level for you.More from Money:
68% of Americans Say They Need Another Stimulus Check
File Your 2020 Taxes Soon if Your Income Dropped Last Year
Third Stimulus Check: What We Know About Amount, Eligibility and Timing
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NHL roundup: Chicagos Patrick Kane hits milestone in win
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Kane became the fourth player in team history to score 400 goals for Chicago, joining Hall of Famers Bobby Hull (604) and Stan Mikita (541) along with Steve Larmer (406). He also became the 100th player in NHL history, 10th active player and ninth American-born player to reach the mark.© Reuters/Christopher Hanewinckel NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Nashville Predators
Kane's milestone goal came when he fired a wrist shot that sailed over the left shoulder of goaltender Thomas Greiss. It occurred a little over two minutes after Ryan Carpenter scored his second power-play goal during Chicago's five-goal binge in the third period.
Kane also had two assists, including a nifty drop pass for rookie Pius Suter's seventh goal 92 seconds into the third that started the barrage. Chicago rookie goaltender Kevin Lankinen made a career-high 44 saves, including 20 in the opening period.
Nikita Zadorov, Dominik Kubalik and Alex DeBrincat also scored for the Blackhawks, with Sam Gagner and Evgeny Svechnikov finding the back of the net for Detroit.
Bruins, 4, Rangers 1
Charlie Coyle scored twice and Tuukka Rask made 20 saves as visiting Boston defeated New York.
The Bruins bounced back from a 6-2 loss to the Rangers on Friday and Thursday's 7-2 loss to the New York Islanders. They beat the Rangers for the third time in four meetings on a day when Rask was seldom tested and picked up his 299th career win.
Coyle opened the scoring in the first period and added a short-handed empty-net tally. Trent Frederic also scored in the first, Charlie McAvoy tallied in the second and David Pastrnak added two assists as Boston outshot the Rangers by a wide 36-21 margin.© Reuters/Vincent Carchietta NHL: Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils
Predators 3, Blue Jackets 1
Juuse Saros made 28 saves and Eeli Tolvanen scored the go-ahead goal on the power play as Nashville earned the back-to-back sweep over visiting Columbus.© Reuters/Timothy T. Ludwig NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Buffalo Sabres
Nick Cousins and Erik Haula also scored for the Predators, who won for the fourth time in five games and beat Columbus for the fifth time in six meetings.
Making his first back-to-back starts in the regular season, Saros was locked in throughout the 60 minutes and allowed just a first-period goal by Columbus' Kevin Stenlund.
Capitals 3, Devils 2
Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winner and Ilya Samsonov made 19 saves to lead visiting Washington over New Jersey.
Tom Wilson had two assists, Jakub Vrana scored and had an assist and Nicklas Backstrom also scored once for Washington, which swept the two-game series in New Jersey after beating the Devils on Saturday.
Mikhail Maltsev and Yegor Sharangovich scored for the Devils, while goalie Mackenzie Blackwood made 20 saves in the losing effort.
Flyers 3, Sabres 0
James van Riemsdyk scored and recorded an assist during a three-goal second period, and Carter Hart made 28 saves for his second career shutout, as visiting Philadelphia blanked Buffalo for a third straight meeting.
Sean Couturier recorded his fifth goal in eight games this season and Michael Raffl also scored for Philadelphia, which outshot the hosts 38-28 to win its third in a row while coach Alain Vigneault earned his 700th career victory.
Even with the return of star Jack Eichel from a two-game absence with a lower-body issue, Buffalo struggled again, offensively. However, the Sabres did hit the iron three times while falling to 0-5-1 in their last six home contests. Buffalo was last shut out in back-to-back games in March 2019.
Islanders 2, Penguins 0
Ilya Sorokin became the second Islanders rookie goalie to post consecutive shutouts, stopping all 20 shots he faced as New York rode a pair of power-play goals to the victory over visiting Pittsburgh at Uniondale, N.Y.
Sorokin recorded Sunday's shutout 12 days after his previous appearance, when he also stopped 20 shots to earn his first NHL win in a 3-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. The only other Islanders rookie goalie to post back-to-back shutouts was Chico Resch in 1975.
Oliver Wahlstrom scored in the first period and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored in the second for the Islanders, who snapped a four-game losing streak against the Penguins to salvage a split of a two-game series.
--Field Level Media