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Why Georgia’s layoffs today could help make or break a third $ 2,000 stimulus check



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The fate of a third stimulus check may lie with the leadership of the US Senate.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Georgians will go to the polls on Tuesday to vote in the election of two statewide senate seats, and the outcome could play a role in whether Congress is a large or a small one. third stimulus check Which President elect Joe Biden is expected to push for one time he takes office in a few weeks – or possibly passes another direct payment.

Control of the Senate will depend on Tuesday’s vote. If Democrats take the chamber, Congress can approve another stimulus control up to $ 2,000, an amount Congress failed by the end of 2020. If Republicans stick to the Senate, Biden will have to negotiate with Republican Senate leaders who by the end of 2020 were increasingly unwilling to consider more direct aid.

Before the last Congress was adjourned, it approved one second stimulus check for $ 600, after months of start-and-stop negotiations. The new convention sworn in on Sunday will most likely consider another convention incentive package proposed by the Biden government, but the size and scope of that bill may depend on who controls the senate, a decision Georgia makes today. Here’s what you need to know about how the new Congress could contribute to a third incentive check.

The party running the senate has the upper hand in two ways

As a Democrat, Biden’s path to approval of economic aid – including a third check – could be much smoother if Democrats also hold both houses of Congress this year. In the new Congress sworn in this week, Democrats will have a narrow majority in Parliament.

However, control of the Senate will depend on Georgia’s second election for two Senate seats. If Democrats win both seats, the party will run the senate by a hair. It would have 50 seats – 48 Democrats and two independents consulting with the party – with Vice President Kamala Harris having the power to cut ties.

Perhaps more importantly, a majority leader in the Democratic Senate would have the power to vote on bills, including those favored by Biden and fellow Democrats.

If Republicans win just one seat, the GOP retains control of the Senate and Biden begins his term with a divided government. If they won both seats, the Republicans would have a 52-48 majority. In either case, the Senate would be led again by Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader, who opposed raising payments from $ 600 to $ 2,000 in the closing days of the current Congress, as well as a larger stimulus package. .

On January 1, McConnell did not put a $ 2000 incentive bill passed in Parliament to vote in the Senate, effectively quashing the bill’s likelihood of passing before the new Congress took its place.

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Will the new Congress approve a new direct payment?

Sarah Tew / CNET

Stimulus control is popular and expensive

In the days leading up to the Jan. 5 second round, the two Republican candidates, Kelly Loeffler and David Purdue, both supported the $ 2,000 incentive vouchers that Trump backed. While the Senate didn’t vote on the $ 2,000 checks, one thing is known: the incentive checks add up.

The IRS said it spent about $ 270 billion last year to send 160 million stimulus vouchers in the first round, but it’s likely that once catch-up payments are added, the total number will be closer to $ 300 billion.

Many economists have argued that now is not the time to keep federal spending in check as the economy is struggling to get back on its feet. Instead, the federal government should try to send more aid to support the economy.

“It would be a mistake to be shy with our policy solutions during this crisis,” said William Gale, a senior fellow in the economic studies program at Brookings Institution, on Dec. 16. “Congress must release more resources – trillions of dollars – for emergency relief and incentives to support people and businesses.”


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For tens of millions of taxpayers, the majority of the incentive money paid for food, rent and utilities and debts, a quarter of which is going towards savings, according to a Census Bureau survey this summer. With Biden’s warning, the country faces a “dark winter” – facing a spike in coronavirus cases in the US and an economy that continues to lose jobs – a second check would likely yield similar applications.

However, as of this summer, some Republicans in Congress have refused to fund major aid packages as the US deficit has risen. “We have limited resources,” Republican Senator John Thune said on Jan. 1, objecting to the Senate’s approval of a $ 2,000 payment. “This is borrowed money.”

If the Republicans keep the Senate majority, the following can happen

A group of Republican and Democratic senators who laid the groundwork for December bipartisan stimulus package points to a possible path of cooperation between Biden and the next Congress. It’s just as likely, however, that Senate Republicans could try to keep spending in check if the party retains control of the upper chamber.

When faced with a divided Congress, Biden will most likely do what each president has done when one or both chambers are in the hands of the other party and look for areas where the two sides can find common ground. Passing a new sweeping stimulus package could fall off the table if Republicans rally behind more austere spending in 2021 and beyond, but smaller aid proposals targeting specific needs – such as an increase in the minimum wage or a third stimulus check strongly focused on the most deprived – could find support from two parties.

Biden could watch too executive actions to achieve some of his goals, just as President Donald Trump did last summer a series of implementing decrees. But without spending power (only Congress has that), Biden would be limited in what he could accomplish without the help of Congress – he wouldn’t have access to the money to send a second check.

While we await the final composition of the new Congress and the administration of Biden to take over in the coming weeks, here’s when you can expects to receive a second incentive payment, now that it has been approved, and how much you can expect at your next check-up.


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