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Boulder mourns after shooting, Equal Pay Day, stimulus check update: 5 things to know Wednesday

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Boulder mourns as Biden urges Congress to make gun bills a priority

President Joe Biden called on Congress Tuesday to “immediately pass” legislation that would close loopholes in gun background checks and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in his first public remarks after a mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, killed 10 people. Two bills, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, both passed in the House earlier this month and are now in the Senate. The Bipartisan Background Checks Act would expand background checks on people seeking to purchase or transfer firearms, while the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 would extend the initial background check review period from three to 10 days. In Boulder, a handful of vigils have been scheduled to commemorate the victims. Among the remembrances, a candlelight vigil originally scheduled for Tuesday night at the Boulder County Courthouse was moved to Wednesday.  

First Senate hearing on sweeping voting rights bill will take place

The Senate is scheduled discuss S.1 or the “For The People Act,” on Wednesday before the Senate Rules Committee. The legislation, which the U.S. House passed along partisan lines earlier this month, would, among other things, expand same-day voter registration and early voting. The measure is a priority for Senate Democrats, but has no Republican co-sponsors. The bill also faces hurdles in the chamber, including the prospect of a GOP filibuster, a congressional tactic that essentially requires 60 Senate votes. A committee vote is expected in April. 

Equal Pay Day: USWNT to be front and center in discussion of gender pay gap

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., is holding a hearing Wednesday, Equal Pay Day, to examine the pay gap between men and women, the disproportionate inequalities women of color face, discuss several pieces of “feminist legislation,” and hear from witnesses like U.S. Women’s National Team soccer star Megan Rapinoe. Maloney told USA TODAY there is “a long way to go to achieve economic equality for women. The data is abundantly clear that this inequality still exists.” President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden also have an event on their schedule with Rapinoe, Margaret Purce and other members of the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team to mark the day. The USWNT sued U.S. Soccer for discrimination in March 2019, alleging the federation had violated both the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The national team has settled its dispute with the federation over unequal working conditions, but the pay dispute remains unresolved.

More stimulus checks are on the way

Many Americans should see their $1,400 stimulus check in their bank account Wednesday, according to the government. The Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Treasury said Monday that the next batch of Economic Impact Payments will be issued this week, with many coming as paper checks or prepaid debit cards. Some direct deposits began processing Friday with an official pay date of Wednesday. Get updates on the status of your next stimulus payment using the IRS “Get My Payment” tool.

Cereal lovers can rejoice: The Grape-Nuts shortage has ended 

After months of being out of stock, the beloved crunchy cereal Grape-Nuts is shipping at full capacity to stores nationwide, parent company Post Consumer Brands told USA TODAY exclusively in a story published early Wednesday. The brand started experiencing shortages in late 2020 and its Grape-Nuts Flakes cereal was also affected. The shortage hit amid the coronavirus pandemic and production issues. Also, if you paid inflated prices on the black market to get a box, you may be eligible for reimbursement. Cereal fans who paid $10 or more for a box of Grape-Nuts Original cereal between Nov. 1, 2020 and March 15 are “eligible to submit a valid retailer or e-retailer receipt for a partial refund of up to $115 to help cover the difference between the amount paid and the suggested retail price of the Grape-Nuts Original cereal box purchased.” Though, we advise those trying to get the refund to pay attention to the official rules/fine print.

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