Senate Will Narrow Income Limits For Stimulus Checks

The U.S. Capitol building (via senate.gov)

Senate Democrats have agreed to narrow the income limits for those who would receive stimulus checks in order to draw in more support from moderate Senators.

From the New York Times:

Like the House bill, the proposal under discussion would send $1,400 checks to people earning up to $75,000 and households earning up to $150,000, with those earning more receiving smaller payments.

But the Senate proposal would end the checks altogether for those making $80,000 or couples earning $160,000, while the House measure had a higher cap of $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for households.

But Senate Democrats have agreed to the House-passed proposal to provide a $400 weekly federal unemployment payment through the end of August, rejecting a bid by some moderate senators to keep the weekly benefit at the current amount of $300 per week.

Read the full article.

This morning, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement saying he has confidence Democrats have the votes to pass the measure.

Mitch McConnell Effectively Kills $2K Stimulus Checks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced there won’t be a vote for increasing stimulus checks to Americans to $2,000 because some might not need it. This was completely expected as McConnell has shown no interest in actually sending funds to Americans during the pandemic.

Mind you, he had no problem handing out tax cuts for the wealthiest worth far, far more.

From the New York Times:

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, said on Wednesday that the chamber would not consider the issue of larger stimulus checks separately from two other demands issued by President Trump: the investigation of election security and the removal of legal protections for social media platforms. The decision all but dooms the effort to increase direct payments to $2,000.

“Here’s the deal: The Senate is not going to split apart the three issues that President Trump linked together just because Democrats are afraid to address two of them,” Mr. McConnell, the Kentucky Republican, said.

A stand-alone bill to increase the payments, he said, has “no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate.”

Mitch McConnell Blocks Vote On $2K Stimulus Checks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a vote to increase the amount of stimulus checks to Americans to $2,000 after the House overwhelmingly approved the legislation yesterday.

From the Washington Post:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blocked consideration of a House bill that would deliver $2,000 stimulus payments to most Americans — spurning a request by President Trump even as more Senate Republicans voiced support for the dramatically larger checks.

McConnell’s move was just the beginning of a saga that is likely to engulf the Senate for the rest of the week. Democrats are pushing for an up-or-down vote on the House bill, while more Republicans acknowledge a need for larger stimulus checks.

Proponents include Georgia’s two embattled Republican senators — David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler — who find themselves in tough reelection battles that will decide the fate of the chamber next week.

The Donald was not pleased as he tweeted, “Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!”

House Approves $2,000 COVID Relief Checks

The U.S. Capitol building

The House approved $2,000 COVID relief checks for Americans today

The House overwhelmingly approved $2,000 COVID relief checks for Americans today.

From TIME:

The House voted overwhelmingly Monday to increase COVID-19 relief checks to $2,000, meeting President Donald Trump’s demand for bigger payments and sending the bill to the GOP-controlled Senate, where the outcome is highly uncertain.

Democrats led passage, 275-134, their majority favoring additional assistance, but dozens of Republicans suddenly joined in approval. While Democrats favored bigger checks, Congress had settled on smaller $600 payments in a compromise over the big year-end relief bill Trump reluctantly signed into law.

The president’s GOP allies opposed more spending and Trump’s push puts them in a difficult spot.

Over to you, Senate.

Donald Trump Signs Stimulus Bill, Wins Nothing With Delay

August 13 was not #ReinstatementDay
Donald Trump signed the new stimulus package approved by a bipartisan Congress after days of delays
Donald Trump during ABC News Town Hall (screen capture)

UPDATE: After waiting days to sign the stimulus package passed in Congress by overwhelming margins and negotiated with Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary as his stand-in, Trump finally signed off on the package.

His delay may have cost Americans on unemployment $300 each in enhanced federal benefits, thank you very much.

Politico rightfully ripped Trump a new one:

THAT’S IT? President DONALD TRUMP made all this noise about the Covid relief and government funding bill only to sign it and get nothing in return?

TRUMP got taken to the cleaners.

WHAT A BIZARRE, embarrassing episode for the president. He opposed a bill his administration negotiated. He had no discernible strategy and no hand to play — and it showed. He folded, and got nothing besides a few days of attention and chaos. People waiting for aid got a few days of frightening uncertainty.

ZIP. ZERO. ZILCH. If he was going to give up this easy, he should’ve just kept quiet and signed the bill. It would’ve been less embarrassing.


The Washington Post reports Donald Trump has signaled to aides he will sign the stimulus and spending bills passed by Congress potentially avoiding a crisis.

President Trump has indicated that he will sign the stimulus bill into law before Monday night’s deadline and avert a government shutdown, two people familiar with his plans said Sunday evening, a move that would release $900 billion in stimulus funds as soon as possible.

Trump’s new decision to sign the bill came less than a week after he demanded changes to it and had suggested he would refuse to sign it into law. On Tuesday, he referred to the bill as a “disgrace” but he signaled on Sunday he would sign it after all.

The government was set to shut down on Tuesday if Trump did not sign the bill into law. The spending package also included a new round of stimulus checks, unemployment aid, and small business assistance, among other things.

Folks close to Trump say it’s still not a done deal as the Donald has apparently changed his mind on signing the bill several times.

The bipartisan bill that was negotiated with Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, was overwhelmingly passed in both chambers of Congress.

Trump threw an unexpected wrench into the deal when he suddenly demanded $2,000 checks (instead of $600) to be sent to all eligible Americans.

Dow Jones Drops 900 Points As Coronavirus Spikes & Stimulus Talks Stall

Donald Trump
Donald Trump (screen capture)

So. Much. Winning.

With talks for a fiscal stimulus package stalled and coronavirus infections spiking in states across the U.S., the stock market tanked to the tune of 900 points on Monday.

From CNBC:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 900 points lower, or 3.2%, and was headed for its biggest one-day loss since June 11. The S&P 500 slid 2.7% and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 2.5%.

Monday’s decline erased the monthly gains for the Dow industrials.

The decline came amid a record surge in new coronavirus cases in the U.S. The country saw more than 83,000 new infections on both Friday and Saturday after outbreaks in Sun Belt states, surpassing a previous record of roughly 77,300 cases set in July, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The data also showed the country has reported an average of 68,767 cases per day over the past seven days, a record.

Trump Says New Coronavirus Stimulus Package ‘Dead On Arrival’

Donald Trump speaks at the White House (photo: public domain)

Donald Trump says the new coronavirus relief package being worked out in Congress is a ‘no go’ before it even has a vote.

From NBC News:

“DOA. Dead on arrival. Of course, Nancy Pelosi knows that,” he told reporters Wednesday at the White House.

About one-third of the $3 trillion legislation is relief for state, local and tribal governments, which many Republicans are resisting.

The measure also includes assistance to essential workers, an extension of unemployment insurance beyond July, another round of $1,200 direct cash payments and various other measures that are unlikely to gain bipartisan support but serve as an opening bid for Democrats.

Trump ripped into election-related provisions that would require 15 consecutive days of early voting and the option for every American to vote by mail through an absentee ballot, rules that would take effect starting in the 2020 presidential contest.

“Mail-in ballots is subject to tremendous corruption. Tremendous corruption, cheating. And so I’m against it,” Trump said. “And if you look at the bill that Nancy Pelosi is putting in, it has a lot to do with elections. We’re not going to lose elections because of that.”

As NBC News notes, ‘voter fraud’ is an often repeated lie for Trump. But even though he says it over and over, the truth is several studies and investigations by election experts have looked into the issue and no widespread fraud has ever been found.

In fact, five state handle their elections completely by mail-in voting: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah.

Additionally, Trump recently admitted that HE voted in Florida’s recent election by mail. And hundreds of thousands of military service members participate in the electoral process by mail every cycle.

Trump’s issue with mail-in voting is it enables more Americans to take part, and higher turnout tends to favor the Democratic party.

Treasury Orders Trump’s Signature Printed On Stimulus Checks

Because nothing says “Vote for me” like a $1,200 check designed to look like it came from the Trumpster himself…

From the Washington Post:

The Treasury Department has ordered President Trump’s name printed on stimulus checks the Internal Revenue Service is rushing to send to tens of millions of Americans, a process that could slow their delivery by a few days, senior IRS officials said.

The unprecedented decision, finalized late Monday, means that when recipients open the $1,200 paper checks the IRS is scheduled to begin sending to 70 million Americans in coming days, “President Donald J. Trump” will appear on the left side of the payment.

It will be the first time a president’s name appears on an IRS disbursement, whether a routine refund or one of the handful of checks the government has issued to taxpayers in recent decades either to stimulate a down economy or share the dividends of a strong one.

The Post goes on to note that standard practice is to have a civil servant sign checks from the federal government in order to avoid any appearance of partisanship.

IRS Will Require Filing Tax Return To Qualify For Stimulus Check

(image via Pixabay)

The Internal Revenue Service has announced Americans will need to file a “simple” tax return even if they don’t owe taxes in order to receive a coronavirus stimulus check.

From the Washington Post:

The Trump administration is requiring Americans on Social Security to file a tax return to receive the $1,200 coronavirus payment, an added step that is causing confusion and could prevent millions from easy access to relief.

Many lawmakers and advocates for the poor say filing a tax return shouldn’t be necessary for people on Social Security since the government already knows how to send this population monthly checks. The $2.2 trillion aid package said that if someone has not filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return, the U.S. Treasury should get their information from Social Security, if applicable.

But, the Internal Revenue Service posted a notice on its website on Monday, instructing Social Security recipients to file a “simple” tax return, which will be available soon.

“People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment,” the IRS said. “Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.”

Seventeen and eighteen-year-olds won’t qualify for stimulus checks as well because the legislation follows the tax-code definition of “child” that states a “qualifying child … has not attained age 17.” In other words, many high school juniors and seniors and their families won’t receive a $500 check from the stimulus bill.

Plus, many immigrants won’t qualify because you will need a valid social security number to receive a check.

Trump Wants His Signature On Stimulus Checks As If He’s Giving Americans Money

Donald Trump (photo: public domain)

The Wall Street Journal reports Donald Trump would like to see his signature on the stimulus checks that will be sent out after he signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package into law Friday, according to an administration official.

Normally such checks would be signed by a disbursing officer, not the president.

Trump always wants “credit” for everything that happens in the country, and a check bearing his signature could appear to some as if the Donald is giving Americans these funds when actually the American people are writing the checks.