Third stimulus checks on the way: President Joe Biden has promised

Jennifer Tuttor, Senior Reporter

After his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021, President Joe Biden has begun making long strides in his quest to relieve a lot of struggling Americans from the money crisis- one lasting effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The evening of his inauguration saw the president signing the first series of executive orders, one of which was a $1.9 trillion coronavirus economic relief package which the president dubbed, “The American Rescue Plan.”

 Despite President Joe Biden signing this as an executive order, it cannot be vetoed, but needs the blessing of Congress to pass and subsequently, before any money could be disbursed from the treasury. The Senate currently is split, with both Democrats and Republicans having 50-50 representation, but the catch is, Vice-President Kamala Harris, also a democrat gets to cast the deciding vote since she is the Senate Chair. 

 “The work must move forward, preferably with our Republican colleagues, but without them if we must,” Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer said after a private meeting with the Democratic senators. “Time is of the essence to address this crisis. We’re keeping all options open on the table.”

 The sections of this American Rescue Plan include free inoculations to all US residents regardless of their immigration status, an extension of a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, a housing and building support section, unemployment benefits, paid leaves and childcare, among others. The greatest bone of contention, however, is over the $2000 stimulus checks the current president promised Americans during his campaign. Most Republicans now assert that the sum is too exorbitant and needs reduction. 

 “$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table,” said President Joe Biden. “We need $2,000 stimulus checks.”

 The American Rescue Plan, if approved by Congress, might also see a crucial education-related repetition of the 2020 CARES Act, under the Trump administration. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Grants under the CARES Act are based on student expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), and the funding is not tied to existing financial aid programs such as Pell Grants. Eligibility requirements for Stimulus CARES Act Emergency Assistance grants are based on criteria provided by the U.S. Department of Education. The Stimulus CARES Act Emergency Assistance program is a one-time emergency aid grant that served college students, of which some in Amarillo and Canyon benefited: WTAMU inclusive. 

 “The stimulus bill will have only a small impact,” said Richard Ware, President of the Amarillo National Bank. “The previous $600 stimulus check consumers began spending last March increased retail sales by 11 percent however, the economic spike was short-lived.”

 According to the IRS and the Department of Treasury, the stimulus checks if approved would mostly reach the American people in the form of direct deposits, hardcopy paper checks through the postal service, or prepaid debit cards. Eligibility to grab any of the above means of payment includes single filers making $75,000 or less, and joint filers making $150,000 or less. 

 

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