- The Senate wrapped up its second impeachment trial of Donald Trump last Friday, once again opting to acquit the former president with a vote of 57-43.
- Now that the trial has ended, Congress can turn its attention back to the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that President Biden has been pushing for.
- Congress is in recess throughout this week, but Democrats expect to get the bill through the House and the Senate by the end of next week, at which point it will be sent to President Biden’s desk and will be signed into law. Stimulus checks should start going out soon after that.
On Friday, the Senate voted 57-43 to acquit Donald Trump on the charge of inciting an insurrection at the US Capitol. 67 votes were needed to convict the former president, but that was never going to be within reach, even if the House impeachment managers had gone through with calling in witnesses, significantly extending the trial.
The result of the trial aside, Congress can now turn its full attention to other matters, including that of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that Joe Biden has been pushing for ever since he took office. Both chambers of Congress are on a recess this week, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it clear that Democrats want to get a full House vote on the bill before the end of the month. If the bill can make its way through the House early in the week of February 22nd, there’s a chance that it could receive a vote in the Senate by Friday, February 26th.
Not only are millions of Americans still struggling to find jobs, pay their rent, and support their families, but many of the vital unemployment benefits of the previous stimulus package expire on March 14th. As such, if President Biden signs the bill into law days or even weeks before they expire, we can avoid major lapses in coverage.
CNET put together a handy chart that shows when we should receive our $1,400 stimulus checks if the bill can make its way through Congress as quickly as Democrats would like. Providing the bill does receive a vote in the House and the Senate by February 26th, it could be on President Biden’s desk as early as Monday, March 1st. If he signs the bill on March 1st, direct deposits should start to hit bank accounts by the next Monday, March 8th. The first paper checks may be sent out by March 15th, and preloaded debit cards could be in the mail around March 22nd. This is probably the best-case scenario, but a realistic one if all of the Senate Democrats are on the same page.
Providing there are not any big changes made to the eligibility of the third round of stimulus checks before it reaches Biden’s desk, individuals who made up to $75,000 and couples that made up to $150,000 would be entitled to the full $1,400 Economic Impact Payments. The payments begin to phase out incrementally above those income levels, with individuals that made $100,000 or more and joint-filers that made $200,000 or more being ineligible.