HARTFORD, CT — Connecticut’s two U.S. senators praised the state AARP Tuesday for keeping the pressure on the Trump administration to deliver money and benefits to seniors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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AARP Connecticut hosted two live, interactive Telephone Town Halls with federal legislators this week to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and the steps the state and federal government are taking to respond to the pandemic.

The first Telephone Town Hall Tuesday included U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and Quinnipiac University Professor Nick Nicholson.

During the call, Murphy and Blumenthal were effusive in their comments about how the AARP’s lobbying kept pressure on President Donald Trump to deliver more in pandemic relief funding than he first promised.

The Internal Revenue Service has begun to distribute stimulus checks of up to $1,200 to millions of Americans as the federal government tries to jolt the economy back to life amid the devastation from the coronavirus pandemic.

The first checks were delivered via direct deposit Friday and tens of millions will see them appear in their bank accounts by today, according to the Treasury Department.

Some 50 million to 70 million Americans are expected to get their checks via direct deposit by today, according to the Treasury Department. Those who haven’t provided the IRS with their bank account information will get a paper check in the mail, which could take longer, though the department has launched a portal on its website that allows some Americans to input their direct deposit information to speed up getting the cash.

In an unprecedented move, the Treasury Department agreed Monday night to add the president’s name to the paper checks, which may add additional time to their expected delivery.

Not everyone will get a check.

If a person, regardless of age, had an adjusted gross income of $99,000 or more then it’s unlikely they will see a check. For married couples filing jointly, the amount is $198,000 and for a head of household it’s $136,500.

A person also won’t get a stimulus check if they’re claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. This category includes older people or adults with disabilities who are claimed as dependents by someone else.

The government is distributing the checks under a new $2.2 trillion economic recovery package that Trump signed into law last month.
“AARP has played such a vital role,” Murphy said. “AARP has been there to remind President Trump to keep seniors in mind and that we in Washington go the extra mile to protect the $1,200 rebate for all.”

Murphy noted that under the original plan from the IRS, recipients would have had to fill out and send in extra paperwork before they would receive their payment.

Blumenthal added that he hopes the Senate and the House will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to pass further legislation to help all Americans who have lost a job or been hospitalized during the duration of the pandemic.

Both of the Connecticut senators said it serves as a strong reminder to a president who has failed in many aspects of handling the pandemic that the AARP will not let him off the hook during the duration of the crisis.

And both renewed their earlier calls for more testing, stating that at some time America will go back to school, back to work, and that’s when testing will be key.

The two Connecticut senators and Nicholson also praised Gov. Ned Lamont for his handling of the crisis while stating they also thought it was not time to lift restrictions – at least not yet.

As of Tuesday afternoon, coronavirus cases in Connecticut climbed by 608 since Monday and there were 69 new deaths, according to Lamont.

That brings the total to 13,989 cases and the death toll reached 671.

The number of hospitalizations statewide rose by 19, with 1,779 currently hospitalized with COVID-19.