This is my stimulus update for Wednesday, August 26.
We’re going talk about what Mark Meadows said just this morning about stimulus negotiations and how he things they will go with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and I’m going to talk about a first stimulus update for those married to those past due on child support.
Fake Stimulus Updates
But first let me just remind that if you see YouTube titles today talking about “JUST APPROVED! $1,200 RECURRING STIMULUS!” just know that this is clickbait and is referring to FEMA approving a couple more states for Trump’s unemployment memorandum for $300 a week or $400 a week depending on the state.
I’ll tell you the two new approved states at the end of this article, and given the limited funding available under this memorandum, it is anything but recurring, in fact we have some states just paying three weeks all at once, it’s not a new stimulus check or stimulus program, it’s the unemployment.
First Stimulus Update (Child Support)
Before I get into Meadows and Pelosi and second stimulus, let me give a quick first stimulus update, especially for those married to someone with past due child support.
When I was doing Q&As about first stimulus, I saw this question so many times, “My spouse has past due child support”, “I know that my spouse will have his or her stimulus check diverted, but Logan, I haven’t gotten a stimulus check either, I don’t have past due child support, I think the IRS took both of our stimulus checks because only one of us, my spouse, is past due on child support”.
Well, good news for you, the IRS has not forgotten about you.
Now, those of you in this situation are in two groups. The first group consists of those of you who have filed Form 8379, the injured spouse form that we’ve talked about here on the channel, along with your tax returns. If you are in this group, that is, you are not due on child support but your spouse is, and you have filed injured spouse with your tax return, and you have not received your stimulus check yet, then the IRS could be sending you your stimulus check next month.
IRS estimates that about 50,000 people are in this situation, and yesterday it announced that it will send catch-up stimulus payments via paper check to those in this group. The IRS says that these payments will be sent by paper check in early-to-mid-September, so that could be as early as next week or potentially a couple weeks after, you know how the IRS is, but if you’re in this situation, please keep an eye on your mailbox because your $1,200 portion of the stimulus check may be in there if you did not get it previously and your spouse is past due on child support.
Now, for those of you in this situation but you have not historically filed Form 8379, the injured spouse form, the IRS says it will take care of you as well, you do not have to file Form 8379 to get your stimulus though of course that could be recommended for income tax purposes, but unfortunately the IRS does not have a timeframe yet for those of you who haven’t been filing Form 8379 with your tax return, but the IRS is basically saying, “Hey, we see you.”
Mark Meadows on Stimulus Negotiations
Mark Meadows on Politico this morning. This morning, Mark Meadows confirmed to Politico that he has not spoken to Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer since the stimulus negotiations failed on August 7. He also gave something of a prediction of when he thinks Nancy Pelosi will relent and come back to the bargaining table, here’s the clip:
Jake Scherman: I’m wondering if you have had any conversations with Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer in the last couple weeks since these negotiations broke down?
Mark Meadows: We haven’t, you reported that Mnuchin reached out to Pelosi originally I think she said if you meet us in the middle or cut it in half, we thought that might be an opening, she quickly changed that to a $2.3, $2.4 trillion package, what she said in the room was you give us the amount of money, we’ll tell you how we spend it, we’ve reached out, I’ve had my staff reach out to Speaker Pelosi’s Chief of Staff to say we haven’t heard anything from her, I don’t anticipate that we’ll actually get a phone call, I’ve probably had more good conversations but very productive conversations on Capitol Hill, both on the Senate side and the House side, more on the House side my former colleagues, and a lot of them want a deal and are being very, very reasonable in their requests, I think if we got back in the room with some of their priorities we could get a deal, the President wants to do that, but I’m not optimistic, the Speaker is going to hold out until the end of September and get what she wants in terms of funding for the government for the CR funding mechanism that comes up during the end of September.
Meadows said that his staff reached out to Pelosi’s staff and hasn’t heard anything, and he said that his feeling is that Nancy Pelosi is going to wait until the end of September, as we’ve talked about before here on the channel, the government’s fiscal year begins on October 1.
So in September, well the portion of September that members of Congress are back in D.C. after the lengthy August recess, they are discussing appropriations bills, how much money is going to be appropriate to various federal agencies for the next fiscal year.
So next month, September 2020, Congress is going to be talking about these funding bills, how much should Homeland Security get for the fiscal year October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021, how much should the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration get, and if they fail to pass a bill for a particular agency or agencies, they can pass a bill that says well we’ll just continue the funding at the same level as it was for the previous fiscal year, this is called a continuing resolution, that’s what Meadows was referring to when he mentioned “the CR funding mechanism,” but when these appropriations bills fail to pass and the extender bills expire, that’s when we get these government shutdowns that we have every so often, the most recent one being a little less than two years ago.
So Meadows is saying that he doesn’t think that Pelosi will be open to resuming stimulus talks until the end of next month at the eleventh hour when she can tie COVID stimulus relief to getting what she wants in terms of these appropriations bills.
Is this actually going to be what happens? That’s anybody’s guess. Meadows doesn’t have a crystal ball, and neither do I.
But that is Meadows’ opinion as of this morning.
Meadows has also said that he has been talking to members of Congress and that they want a deal, and this is what I was saying all last week, rank-and-file members of Congress, the House, Democrats in the House, want a deal.
They do not want to go back empty-handed to their constituents with a November election coming up because remember senators their terms are six years, House members, their up for reelection every two years.
Meadows continued to speak about his conversations with people on Congress and Pelosi’s strategy, here’s the clip.
Jake Sherman: You reached out in the hopes of restarting negotiations?
Mark Meadows: Listen, we had some good conversations with Democrats on Capitol Hill, I think there’s some common ground, I have a call with Republican senators every morning, I know they want a deal and are willing to make compromises but it’s really been Speaker Pelosi really driving this train more as the conductor more than anybody, I think she talks privately and publicly that she wants a deal, but when it comes to dealing with Republicans and the Administration we haven’t seen a lot of action, in fact we’ve seen no action.
Anna Palmer: I wanted to just follow up on that, you think the Speaker’s strategy is to cobble together a funding bill and COVID relief, do you think the government could shut down and are you concerned the President could get blamed for that?
Mark Meadows: I think if we do a COVID deal right now we take shutdown off the table, I know Senator Ron Johnson wants to do that, but we know how these negotiations go, everybody looks for the leverage, the next cliff, the next deadline to see how they can use that to their political advantage, the sad part about this one is Speaker Pelosi is trying to use this for her political advantage, when she knows there are a number of people who need enhanced unemployment and she is unwilling to act, when she knows we can agree on a PPP deal, when ultimately there is over $105 billion there for schools and she fails to act yet she somehow brings people in for a postal bill on a Saturday, which is largely a messaging bill, the postal issue has been there for a long time, that’s her top priority, that’s tough to sell on Main Street and tough to sell with her most loyal colleagues, it’s time that we reach a compromise and hopefully we will.
So there Meadows is continuing to accuse Pelosi of now wanting to use the appropriations funding bills as leverage for getting what she wants in stimulus negotiations or vice versa, and again he harps on Pelosi for calling for a vote on the Postal Service bill this past Saturday when many of her own colleagues called to talk about more pressing matters for the American people, and that brings us to today’s poll.
Today’s Poll on USPS Bill
I want to know what you think about Pelosi calling the House back to vote and pass the Delivering for America Act this past Saturday. This bill appropriates twenty-five billion dollars to the Postal Service and as well as states that the Postal Service cannot make any changes to how it operates from how it was operating on January 1, 2020, which was well before Trump’s new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy took on the role on June 16.
So let me know what you think about that, also, later in the interview Meadows did say that Trump would consider doing more executive actions, particularly with respect to extending aid to the struggling airlines industry, Here’s the link to the full Politico interview with Mark Meadows this morning in the description below if you’d like to listen to the whole thing, it’s about 20 minutes along.
Now let’s talk about Trump’s unemployment memorandum. Yesterday I told you that thirty states have been approved by FEMA for funding for the $300 federal kick-in.
Two new states have been added to that list, Arkansas and Maine, of the thirty-two states that have been approved by FEMA for three weeks worth of funding for the $300 federal kick-in, which appears to be operating retroactively in many states.
Now, six states have applied or have indicated that they will apply, and those six states are Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, Virginia, and West Virginia.
And so far, Kentucky, Montana, and West Virginia are the only states that have indicated that they will kick in an additional $100 weekly for eligible claimants in their states so they would get $400 weekly rather than just the federal kick-in of $300 weekly.
And South Dakota of course is the only state that, as far as we know, has said it will not seek funding for the benefits, I’m curious how unemployed people in South Dakota feel about that.