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This piece was originally published in the March 15, 2021 edition of CAP Action’s daily newsletter, the Progress Report. Subscribe to the Progress Report here.
“Shots in arms and money in pockets. That’s important.”
— President Joe Biden today, setting a goal to administer 100 million vaccine doses on his watch and put 100 million stimulus checks in people’s pockets within the next 10 days
100,000,000+ vaccine doses administered and counting.
Help is here.
IN THE NEWS
- Amid a spike in footage of Americans beginning to enjoy maskless activities following days of optimistic pandemic news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is (CDC) reminding us not to get ahead of ourselves. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky spoke out this morning with a reminder that there are still more than 50,000 new U.S. coronavirus cases emerging per day. She urged Americans not to let their guard down yet, citing the ultimate resurgence of COVID outbreaks in other countries where people became less cautious after seeing similarly promising case count trajectories to that we are currently experiencing. “I’m pleading with you, for the sake of our nation’s health, these should be warning signs for all of us.”
- President Biden kicked off a nationwide tour today to raise awareness of the economic relief made available thanks to his just-enacted American Rescue Plan. First Lady Jill Biden is stopping by a New Jersey elementary school today as part of the tour, while the Vice President and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will head to Las Vegas, Nevada to tour a vaccination clinic. Biden himself will be heading out to Delaware County, Pennsylvania on Tuesday for his first stop to promote the economic relief package before heading down to Georgia on Friday.
- Stimulus checks are already on their way out. Social media was filled with tweets and posts from Americans excitedly announcing they’d received their $1,400 checks this weekend. Still waiting for yours? Don’t worry — like we mentioned last week, the IRS and the Treasury are working around the clock to make sure these payments get into bank accounts and mailboxes as soon as possible.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- The Senate just confirmed Deb Haaland as the next Secretary of the Interior. Despite facing unfounded attacks from several Republican senators throughout her confirmation hearings, Haaland nonetheless received a handful of votes from across the aisle once her nomination was brought to the full senate. This is thanks in large part to Haaland’s decades of work with Indigenous and tribal communities and her widespread support from tribal leaders across the country.
- President Biden’s first major economic relief bill was signed into law on Thursday afternoon. Now that it’s being implemented, we’ll be highlighting some of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)’s lesser-known provisions to make sure as many people as possible can benefit from this sweeping economic relief package. To kick things off, here are two items in the law that might be of interest, especially to young people and college students.
- First, the ARPA makes any student loan debt forgiveness tax-free. Should President Biden or Congress decide to cancel any amount of Americans’ student loan debt, that forgiveness will not be taxed. Biden has said he supports forgiving up to $10,000 in student debt, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has recently taken up the push for debt cancellation as one of his top priorities this Congress.
- Second, adult dependents are finally eligible for the latest round of stimulus checks. This is an important improvement from the previous two rounds of stimulus payments under Trump, which were not given to adult dependents even though many have faced extreme financial strain over the past year.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- The Life Breonna Taylor Lived, in the Words of Her Mother by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Vanity Fair)
- A month without water: In Jackson, Mississippi, struggling residents fear next outage by Bracey Harris (NBC News)
- Biden’s relief plan brings us closer to reuniting with our grandchildren by Deb and Allan Cameron (Arizona Capitol Times)
- The Second-Class Treatment of U.S. Territories Is Un-American by Stacey Plaskett (The Atlantic)
- The Coronavirus Made the Radical Possible by Rachel Cohen (New York Times)
- California Bill Would Make Kids Sections In Large Stores Gender Neutral by Mary Papenfuss (HuffPost)
- Introducing Community Responders: How To Dispatch the Right Response to Every 911 Call by Betsy Pearl and Amos Irwin (CAP)
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