Who might get $1,400 stimulus checks with next COVID relief package?
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Democrats in the House have released details on some of their priorities for new COVID-19 relief, including expanding unemployment aid and the House’s preferred rules for new stimulus checks. The Senate will eventually have a say in this.
The proposals emerging from the House Ways and Means Committee make up almost half of the $1.9 trillion package that President Joe Biden wants to pass.
There have been some lingering questions about potentially tweaking some of the details, such as lowering the income threshold for who qualifies for the additional $1,400 in stimulus payments that will be coming.
Now, we have some answers.
That income threshold remains the same, at $75,000 per person, $150,000 per couple. People who earned more than that will get less than the full amount.
Also, these payments will phase out more quickly than in past rounds of pandemic support. For individuals, the payment will diminish from $75,000 up to $100,000, and for joint filers, that will occur from $150,000 up to $200,000.
Also, supplemental federal unemployment aid will be boosted from $300 to $400 a week and extended until the end of August.
The House Ways and Means committee will begin holding hearings on these measures starting Wednesday with the aim of approving them by the end of the week.
Democrats want to pass the entire package into law by mid-March.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
So what’s up with “Zoom fatigue”?
It’s a real thing. The science backs it up — there’s new research from Stanford University. So why is it that the technology can be so draining? Jeremy Bailenson with Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab puts it this way: “It’s like being in an elevator where everyone in the elevator stopped and looked right at us for the entire elevator ride at close-up.” Bailenson said turning off self-view and shrinking down the video window can make interactions feel more natural and less emotionally taxing.
How are Americans spending their money these days?
Economists are predicting that pent-up demand for certain goods and services is going to burst out all over as more people get vaccinated. A lot of people had to drastically change their spending in the pandemic because they lost jobs or had their hours cut. But at the same time, most consumers “are still feeling secure or optimistic about their finances,” according to Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, which regularly surveys shoppers. A lot of people enjoy browsing in stores, especially after months of forced online shopping. And another area expecting a post-pandemic boost: travel.
What happened to all of the hazard pay essential workers were getting at the beginning of the pandemic?
Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, essential workers were hailed as heroes. Back then, many companies gave hazard pay, an extra $2 or so per hour, for coming in to work. That quietly went away for most of them last summer. Without federal action, it’s mostly been up to local governments to create programs and mandates. They’ve helped compensate front-line workers, but they haven’t been perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re piecemeal,” said Molly Kinder at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You’re seeing these innovative pop-ups because we have failed overall to do something systematically.”
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