Biden administration works to send undelivered stimulus checks

Posted at 1:34 AM, Jan 23, 2021

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va.-- Help may soon be on the way for 8 million Americans who the White House said haven’t received a stimulus check.

President Joe Biden signed two executive orders on Friday as he attempts to stabilize the economy during the pandemic.

“Folks who were still able to keep their job many have seen their paychecks reduced and they’re barely hanging on and wonder what’s next?” Biden said.

One of the executive orders would increase federal food assistance and streamline the delivery of stimulus checks for those who have not yet received their direct payments.

“Those are people who are legally entitled to those checks,” said National Economic Council Director Brian Deese. “We have a number of strategies we are going to pursue and today will start with the president’s executive order to direct the Department of Treasury to consider a whole range of efforts including creating an online portal to be able to easily identify if they are eligible.”

The IRS said changes to your address or bank account information are common reasons why some haven’t received their payments. Others were “non-filers” which has also contributed to a delay in checks.

Congress passed the CARES Act last Spring allocating $1,200 in economic impact payments for families. Lawmakers also passed another bill to provide $600 in direct payments for Americans earning under a certain threshold last month.

Karen Barker, a small business owner in New Kent County, said she was one of the Americans who didn’t receive her last stimulus check.

“Because I filed an amended return, what the [IRS] website said was that I was going to have to wait and file my taxes with my accountant,” Barker explained.

Like many small business owners, the pandemic nearly decimated Barker’s painting company. She said her family can’t wait much longer for financial relief.

“It’s so frustrating to see the people that don’t need the stimulus money receiving the stimulus money with no problem,” Barker said. “I’m in the point now I’m no longer living week to week. I’m living day to day.”

Barker didn’t apply for a PPP small business loan last year because she thought she would have to pay the money back. Many small business owners have expressed trouble navigating the new and complicated federal programs.

“The people who really need the money aren’t the ones receiving it,” Barker stated.

Biden, who supports increasing the payments to $2,000, will also ask Congress to pass legislation providing additional direct checks of $1,400. His recent executive orders are not part of his $1.9 trillion recovery plan.

Some Republicans, like Utah’s Sen. Mitt Romney, have pushed back on the price tag and concerned about the existing debt.

“We just passed a program with over $900 billion in it. I’m not looking for a new program in the immediate future,” Romney told reporters on Thursday.

The Biden administration did not provide a timeline for when the new online portals will be available.

Biden also issued a second executive order to improve collecting bargaining power and protections for federal workers, and direct the Office of Personnel Management to develop recommendations to increase the minimum wage for federal employees to $15 per hour.

CBS News contributed to this report



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