Sen. Reed: $1,400 stimulus checks could be paid out by end of March

Politics - Government

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said Sunday he thinks the $1,400 stimulus payments included in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will be going out to Americans shortly now that the bill has passed the Senate.

Reed and his Democratic colleagues approved the bill Saturday on a party-line vote after a marathon overnight session. No Republican senators supported the measure. The House is expected to give final passage on Tuesday, after which the bill will go to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

The $1,400 checks — which will cost the federal government an estimated $422 billion to send out — are arguably the most high-profile component of the $1.9 trillion package. Among its other provisions are extended unemployment benefits, aid to state and local governments, and funding for pandemic-related costs such as vaccines and contact tracing.

“I expect the checks going out to individuals … they’ll be out towards the end of the month,” Reed told 12 News on Sunday after attending the governor’s inauguration ceremony. “There’ll be a real push to get it done.”

Asked whether he thought the IRS would have time to process the payments by the end of March, Reed said, “Yes. That’s what I think and I hope, and we’re asking them to do that.”

Most Americans are eligible to receive the $1,400 payments, and most dependents are being included when calculating the total payment per household. The money is not taxable. Payments begin to phase out for individuals who make over $75,000 and married couples who make over $150,000, based on their 2020 tax returns (or 2019 returns if 2020 has not yet been filed).

Reed said about 85% of American households are eligible for the payments.

“It’s a huge number,” he said.

This will be the third round of stimulus checks approved by Congress since the pandemic began, following the $1,200 payments included in the March 2020 CARES Act and the $600 payments added to last December’s appropriations act.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter and 12 News politics/business editor. He co-hosts Newsmakers and writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram

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