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On The Money: IRS says federal beneficiaries to get relief checks starting April 7 | Democrats have a growing SALT problem | Consumer confidence hits highest level since pandemic began

On The Money: IRS says federal beneficiaries to get relief checks starting April 7 | Democrats have a growing SALT problem | Consumer confidence hits highest level since pandemic began
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Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we hope you’re staying safe and healthy. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @NJagoda and @NivElis.

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THE BIG DEAL—IRS says federal beneficiaries to get relief checks starting April 7: The Treasury Department said Tuesday that recipients of Social Security and other federal benefits should receive their third direct coronavirus relief payments by April 7 after nearly a month of delays.

The department said the IRS is on track to deliver stimulus checks to most of the roughly 30 million Americans who’ve yet to obtain them by next Wednesday after processing and reviewing 2021 income information the agency received last week.

“Because the majority of these payments will be disbursed electronically — through direct deposits and payments to existing Direct Express cards — they would be received on the official payment date of April 7,” the IRS said.

The background: 

I have more here.

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LEADING THE DAY

Democrats have a growing SALT problem: What do dietitians and three House Democrats have in common? Being unwilling to accept limits on reducing SALT. (I’m sorry.)

In any case, a growing number of House Democrats are threatening to withhold support from President Biden’s $3 trillion infrastructure proposal over a provision affecting state and local taxes (SALT).

“No SALT, no deal,” Suozzi told The Hill. Niv Elis and Cristina Marcos explain why here.

The SALT deduction fight in a nutshell: Democrats from states hit hardest by the SALT cap have been pushing for the repeal ever since its enactment, arguing that it hurts middle-class taxpayers, encourages people to move to other states and thereby threatens states’ tax revenue. Critics of eliminating the SALT deduction say it has no place in the infrastructure plan, primarily benefits the wealthy and would add to the plan’s cost rather than paying for roads, bridges, airports and broadband.

One of many tough questions: The debate over the SALT deduction is just one of several hard choices Democrats will have to make when figuring out how to pay for Biden’s infrastructure bill.

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve GOP senator: I want to make Biden a 'one-half-term president' How Biden can get the infrastructure bill through Congress MORE (D-N.Y.) is in discussions with the White House over whether to combine a massive infrastructure proposal with tax reform to appease moderates in his caucus who are worried about the federal deficit.

  • A significant number of Senate Democrats want to pay for at least part of the infrastructure package, but tying it to tax reform will slow the entire process and make Democrats up for reelection in 2022 vulnerable.
  • A Schumer aide said the majority leader wants to maximize his options to give Senate Democrats multiple pathways to advance Biden’s Build Back Better infrastructure initiative “if Senate Republicans try to obstruct or water down a bipartisan agreement.”

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton explains here.

Consumer confidence hits highest level since pandemic: March’s consumer confidence spiked to its highest level since the pandemic took hold last year, with the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rising to 109.7 from 90.4 the previous month.

“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their short-term outlook improved significantly, an indication that economic growth is likely to strengthen further in the coming months,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of Economic Indicators at the Conference Board.

The boost follows passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the COVID-19 relief bill that included $1,400 stimulus checks, extensions to emergency unemployment, aid to small businesses and funds for scaling up vaccination and testing efforts.

Niv Elis breaks it down here.

GOOD TO KNOW

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Epic Games on Tuesday filed a complaint about Apple to a British competition watchdog for their “monopolistic practices.”
  • Volvo Cars announced on Tuesday that it would be expanding paid parental leave for its employees to 24 weeks regardless of gender.