Third Stimulus Check News Summary: March 15, 2021
Democrats call for ‘permanent’ stimulus benefits
Democrats in the US Senate will push for Make permanent two provisions of President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 relief bill which provide improved emergency benefits to the poor through food aid and child tax credits, two leading lawmakers said on Sunday.
Majority Leader in the Senate Chuck schumer said making permanent the improved child tax credits permanent is an important goal for Democrats as they look to move forward with bold new initiatives that also include legislation to modernize American infrastructure.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, fellow New York Democrat Schumer, separately called for improvements to a nutrition program for women, infants and children in the $ 1.9 trillion bill that will be extended indefinitely. Biden’s legislation temporarily increased the value of the program cash vouchers for fruits and vegetables from $ 9 per month for children and from $ 11 for women to $ 35 per month for both. The bill also extends the U.S. Federal Child Tax Creditt for one year, from a partially refundable credit of $ 2,000 per child to a fully refundable credit of $ 3,600 for children under 6 and $ 3,000 for children 6 to 17 years old, a a measure that experts say will significantly reduce child poverty in the United States.
“This is one of the most important things we can do. We can change America, if we make them permanent,” Schumer told MSNBC. “It will be so good for these kids, their families, but for all of America and our economy.”
Almost 11 million, or one in seven, American children live in poverty, says the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank. Making the arrangements permanent could prove difficult, with many Republicans opposed to any expansion of U.S. social services that does not come with job requirements for benefit recipients.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives can pass laws by simple majority and has started to introduce bills that reflect party priorities such as police reform, gun control and measures to improve voter participation. But the 100-seat Senate, split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, requires 60 votes for most laws.
Schumer said Democrats would try to work with Republicans to pass “bold change,” but warned his caucus would consider other means, including possible changes to Senate rules, if Republicans continue to oppose Democratic legislation. “But if we can’t, if they vote ‘no’ on everything in terms of the kinds of change America needs, then our caucus will have to come together and figure out how to get there,” Schumer said. “Everything will be on the table and failure is not an option.”