Senate Passes $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Package
Update (Mar. 10, 2021) – The House on Wednesday passed the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package that will deliver $1,400 stimulus checks to millions of Americans, extend enhanced unemployment benefits and boost funding to ramp up vaccine distribution and reopen schools. The vote of 220 to 211 now sends the legislation to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it.
Original article (Mar. 6, 2021) – Million of American could soon receive their third stimulus checks after the Senate Saturday passed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. The tight vote (50-49) came after a long debate that lasted beyond 24 hours. The bill will provide millions of Americans with $1,400 direct payments, billions of dollars for vaccine distribution, and funds to help reopen schools and colleges.
The House, which approved a version of the bill last week, must pass the bill one last time before it can go to president Biden for a signature because of the changes the Senate made. Some last minute changes such as the lack of a $15 minimum wage and a reduction in unemployment benefits from $400 to $300, could create problems.
Here are some of the highlights of this latest COVID-19 relief package:
- Most Americans earning up to $75,000 ($150,000 for couples) will receive a $1,400 stimulus check. Payments will be phased out at $80,000 ($160,000 for couples).
- $300 weekly federal boost to unemployment benefits is extended through August
- The first $10,200 of unemployment benefits will be non-taxable for households earning less than $150,000.
- $350 billion to state and local governments whose revenue has declined because of COVID-19’s impact on the economy.
- $130 billion to help fully reopen schools and colleges.
- $30 billion to help renters and landlords weather economic losses.
- $50 billion for small-business assistance.
- $160 billion for vaccine development, distribution and related needs.
- Child tax credit expanded up to $3,600 per child.