Stimulus checks could arrive as soon as “late March, or early April, if not, earlier”

A&M political economists expects Senators to move quickly on Biden’s economic relief bill..
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 6:04 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - “Since benefits are running out near the middle of March, [Democrats] wanted to get the bill through as quickly as possible.”

That’s why Raymond Robertson believes Democratic Senate leadership decided to concede the $15/hr minimum wage provision in President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 economic relief bill dubbed, the Rescue America plan. Robertson is a political economist at the Texas A&M University Bush School of Government and Public Service.

The minimum wage boost was nixed by the Senate parliamentarian on Thursday. She said it did not meet the strict requirements of reconciliation, a fast-track process that allows the majority party to pass big-ticket legislation with a simple 51-vote majority.

That was the big sticking point that could have derailed the economic relief bill, according to Robertson. He says Democrats are unlikely to concede anything else, in order to pass the bill before expanded unemployment benefits are set to expire Mar. 14.

“It doesn’t seem that [Democrats] talking about compromising anything else,” Robertson explained, “even if they have to take one or two things out of the bill, it will probably survive mostly intact.”

He says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes the bill will pass without the minimum wage provision and has not signaled plans to begin drafting another bill. Robertson says part of that confidence comes from the bipartisan support for the current parameters for the stimulus checks. He says Republicans have understood and accepted who’s getting one and for how much, for a while now.

“It seems unlikely that, [stimulus checks] will change in the Senate,” Robertson said.

He says with the majority rule in the Senate and, for the most part, Republican Senate approval, stimulus checks could be arriving as soon as later this month.

“They’re targeting to pass the bill and sign it into law by March 14th or so,” Robertson said, “and if you looked at what happened after the last stimulus bill was passed, those checks started going out within a couple of days.”

He says that’s especially true of direct deposit. Robertson speculated that on the current timeline the Senate is on, it could be “late March, or early April, if not, earlier,” when Americans start to receive their stimulus checks.

Robertson says there are two easy steps to take to ensure that you get your stimulus check as soon as possible:

  1. File your taxes early to collect any backlogged rebates or credits you may have.
  2. Confirm your contact information with the IRS

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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