President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced that his administration will have distributed 100 million stimulus checks to Americans by Wednesday.
“The American Rescue Plan brings relief to a population that is badly hurting,” Biden said in remarks from Columbus, Ohio. “One more element of our response is that first and foremost commitment to get Americans” $1,400 stimulus checks.
“We’re on the verge of doing that as of tomorrow,” Biden said.
Biden’s update means that he will meet the goal he set last week to send 100 million direct payments to Americans in the next 10 days. The checks have been sent to the bank accounts of individuals earning up to $75,000 per year and couples making up to $150,000 a year. For eligible Americans without direct deposit, the direct payments are still being delivered in check form, Biden said Tuesday.
Last week, Biden also promised to have administered 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in 10 days. His administration surpassed that milestone on Friday, over a month ahead of schedule, as Biden initially planned to hit the mark in 100 days. As of Tuesday, 128 million doses have been administered in the United States.
The president has visited multiple states in recent days as part of a tour to promote the recently-enacted $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package and brief the public on its implementation.
First lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and second gentleman Doug Emhoff also have been traveling across the country to champion the bill.
Eligible Americans will start to receive $1,400 stimulus checks “as early as this weekend,” the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, announced on Thursday.
Psaki said the Treasury Department and the IRS were “working hard to get relief payments out the door as fast as possible to the American people.”
“People can expect to start seeing direct deposits hit their bank accounts as early as this weekend,” Psaki said. “This is of course just the first wave.
“Payments to eligible Americans will continue throughout the course of the next several weeks,” she added.
The update came shortly after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, called the American Rescue Plan, into law. The bill includes $1,400 direct payments for millions of American taxpayers.
Individuals earning up to $75,000 and couples making up to $150,000 qualify for the full check.
People earning above those thresholds still qualify for a smaller direct payment. But eligibility is capped at individuals earning more than $80,000 and joint filers bringing in more than $160,000.
Psaki said earlier this week that a “large number” of Americans should expect to get the checks by the end of the month. They’re the third wave of direct payments that the federal government has issued in the yearlong coronavirus pandemic.
It took roughly a month and a half for the IRS to distribute 147 million payments of up to $600 under the relief law enacted in December.
The latest massive bill also provides an extension of weekly federal unemployment benefits, an expanded child tax credit, funding for vaccine distribution, and several other measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden plans to address the nation in a primetime speech on Thursday to promote the package and discuss his next steps for tackling the public-health crisis. The House passed the legislation on Wednesday, four days after the Senate approved it.
President Joe Biden celebrated passage of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package in Congress on Wednesday, and gave a special shout-out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“I want to thank all the members who voted for it, especially Speaker Pelosi,” Biden said in a statement shortly after the House approved the bill in a 220-211 vote on Wednesday. Every Republican, along with one Democrat, voted against the legislation, called the “American Rescue Plan.”
The president called the Pelosi “the finest and most capable speaker in the history of our nation.”
“Once again, she has led into law an historic piece of legislation that addresses a major crisis and lifts up millions of Americans,” he added.
The sweeping bill will provide millions of Americans with $1,400 direct payments, $300 weekly federal unemployment aid through September, an expanded child tax credit, and funding for vaccines and vaccine distribution to help recover the economy and move the country past the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pelosi likewise extended her gratitude to Biden on Wednesday after the House passed the bill.
“I want to express recognition and appreciation to the president of the United States,” Pelosi said.
The president also praised Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Saturday, following the Senate’s passage of the bill. “I’ve never seen anyone work as skillfully, as ably, as patiently, with determination, to deliver such a consequential piece of legislation that was so urgently needed as the American Rescue Plan,” Biden said. “Senator Chuck Schumer, when the country needed you most, you led, Chuck, and you delivered.”
President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package is on track to become the first major legislation of his administration. He’s touting it as a progressive achievement – and many progressives are on board with the sentiment.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday described the massive bill aimed at tackling the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout as “the most progressive piece of legislation in history.”
Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont and a leading champion for many of the progressive policies included in the bill, expressed a similar viewpoint over the weekend. He called the stimulus “the most significant piece of legislation to benefit working people in the modern history of this country” upon its passage in the Senate on Saturday.
Progressives, too, are taking credit for the bill. Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called the stimulus a “truly progressive and bold package that delivers on its promise to put money directly in people’s pockets.”
“We take the win,” Jayapal told Politico’s Sarah Ferris on Capitol Hill on Monday. “We believe it’s our work that made it as progressive as it is.”
The legislation, which is due for a vote in the House this week, represents unity within the Democratic Party at the start of Biden’s presidency – a development that seemed unlikely a year ago.
Progressive voters weren’t firmly in Biden’s column. He is a centrist and they had set their hopes on more left-leaning candidates, including Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, for president. After Biden clinched the Democratic nomination, he continued to pitch himself as a moderate who would unite the left and right, leaving progressives worried about whether they’d have a seat at the table with him in the White House.
However, since taking office, Biden has worked with progressives and the White House has promoted an agenda consistent with many of the left’s policy ideas.
“Progressives should be very proud of this bill,” a senior Democratic aide told Insider. “This is an absolutely terrific piece of legislation and we’re going to continue to work very closely with the Biden administration to make sure we have an economy and a government that works for all of us and not just the top 1%.”
Some of the measures included in the $1.9 trillion stimulus package hailed by progressives are an expanded child tax credit, $1,400 direct payments, and housing and food assistance.
That said, progressives don’t view the legislation as perfect.
Warren called the bill “powerful” but emphasized that it is “just the start of what Congress can do for working families.”
Originally, Biden had included a provision that would have boosted the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 and had the backing of progressives. However, the Senate parliamentarian, who is responsible for setting the procedural rules of the chamber, ruled against its inclusion in the final bill.
Progressives had urged the White House to overrule the decision, but these calls went unheeded. Sanders then fought to add the minimum wage hike to the package through an amendment, but did not receive enough support from his Senate colleagues. Even eight Democrats voted no.
Some progressive Democrats in the House, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, criticized the changes in the Senate bill. Yet Biden on Saturday rejected the notion that progressives were upset. “They’re not frustrated,” Biden told reporters. “Bernie Sanders said this is the most progressive bill he’s ever seen passed since he’s been here.”
Psaki on Monday said that Biden remains committed to increasing the federal minimum wage, and progressives plan to hold him to it. Still, she reiterated that the White House is currently focused on making the stimulus package become law, and many congressional progressives say the same.
The world’s largest economy looks to be set for a “gangbuster” pace of expansion through next year but US officials should be cautious about unleashing too much fiscal stimulus into the system, said JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said Monday.
“There’s a very good chance you’re going to have a gangbuster economy for the rest of this year and easily into 2022,” said Dimon during an interview with Bloomberg TV. “And the question is, ‘does that overheat everything?’ and we just don’t know yet,” he said.
In terms of that risk, Dimon said, “I wouldn’t worry too much about it, but I would suspect there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to see rates going up and people starting to worry about that at one point.”
Dimon quickly added: “I’ve been very clear: I would not buy 10-year Treasuries, just so you know.”
Before his prediction of strong economic growth for this year and next, Dimon said there are ‘”legitimate complaints” that the current stimulus bill contains items “that have nothing to do with COVID,” but that many Americans do need financial assistance to cope with the pandemic.
“Unemployed, they definitely need help. Small businesses, they definitely need help,” the JPMorgan chief said.
“I don’t know if you know this but [in] half the states, revenues went up. They didn’t go down. Do they need help? Are we just throwing money at people at one point?”
He urged officials in his remarks to “try not to overdue it too much.”