A relief bill by mid-March? President Biden says he’ll negotiate details but insists Congress should pass a measure by March 14, when the most recent extension of federal unemployment benefits expires. On Friday, the House passed its version of the budget resolution that paves the way for Biden’s pandemic relief plan. In prepared remarks, Biden said “If I have to choose between getting help right now to Americans…[or] a lengthy negotiation or compromising on a bill… that’s an easy choice. I’m going to help the American people that are hurting now.”
Democrats to unveil today a $3000 per-child cash benefit to Americans. The Washington Post reports on the legislation that closely tracks a plan described by TPC last week. The IRS would distribute monthly payments that provide $3,600 annually per child under age 6 and $3,000 per child between ages 6 and 17. The benefit would phase-out as an individual’s income exceeds $75,000 ($150,000 for couples). Families would receive payments beginning in July.
Treasury Secretary Yellen: The relief package is the fastest way to revive the economy. In a CNN interview yesterday, she asserted “There's absolutely no reason we should suffer through a slow recovery… We need a big package, and we need to get this done quickly… I would expect if this package is passed, that we would get back to full employment next year."
But Larry Summers says Biden’s plan may be too big. Summers, who served as Treasury Secretary under President Clinton and as a senior economic advisor to President Obama, worries that Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief plan could overheat the economy. He calls a bill this big “a step into the unknown.” He worries that the relief plan is so large that it would leave little room for Biden’s future investment agenda, which Summer strongly supports.
On the Hill this week. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a confirmation hearing tomorrow for Neera Tanden, Biden’s nominee for director of the Office of Management & Budget. The Senate Budget Committee will hear from Tanden on Wednesday. Also Wednesday: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell discusses the state of the labor market.
The UK would tax companies with big pandemic profits. The government is drawing up plans for a one-time “excessive profits tax,” according to The Sunday Times. The British government also wants to discuss with companies how an online sales tax might work. Neither of these taxes would be included in the government’s March budget but could take effect in the second half of the year.
The House is not in session. The Daily Deduction will post February 8 and February 16, or until the House returns; it will resume its regular schedule on February 22.
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