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Would you like a $ 2,000 stimulus check? Why the Georgia runoff January 5 could be key



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Is there another incentive this year?

Sarah Tew / CNET

On Sunday, the newly elected (or re-elected) members of Congress are sworn in. With days to go for sales, the outgoing Congress passed a bill for emergency economic relief and stimulus measures of $ 900 billion that includes one second stimulus control in front of up to $ 600 per person.

Some members of both parties and President Donald Trump had hoped the House and Senate could accomplish more with one second stimulus control, including raise the ceiling from $ 600 to $ 2,000. It failed. But after today, any new stimulus bill or one can third stimulus check, will be under the new House of Representatives, the Senate and the new government, the latter of which will pass in full with President-elect Joe Biden’s January 20 inauguration.

Biden will take office with his own plans for how to see the country through the running corona pandemic, referring to the just-approved $ 600 checks as “a down payment – a major down payment – for what’s due in late January and early February.”

How much congressional support Biden will have for his plans and one more direct payment has yet to be determined. While both the House and the White House will be in Democratic hands, two second elections in Georgia on Tuesday, Jan. 5, will determine which party controls the senate. It will also determine whether Congress is considering a larger stimulus package and perhaps a third payment this year.

Whichever party the next Senate checks can make or break a bigger stimulus check

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 next Congress, Democrats will retain a narrow majority in Parliament.

However, control of the Senate depends on the second election in Georgia on Jan. 5 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.

If Republicans win even one seat, Republicans retain control of the Senate and Biden begins his term with a divided government. In this outcome, the Senate would again be headed by Mitch McConnell, the 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 general. incentive package.

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Will the new Congress prove another direct payment?

Sarah Tew / CNET

Stimulus control is popular … and expensive

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 argue 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 Republicans retain control of the Senate, 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. The passing of a new major stimulus package may be off the table, but smaller support 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 wait for the new Congress and Biden’s government to step into their role 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 to see in your next check.




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