Details of the $900 Billion Covid-19 Relief Package
Update 12/27/2020: President Donald Trump on Sunday signed a $2.3 trillion spending legislation, which includes $900 billion for coronavirus relief and the remainder goes for government spending through next September. Those in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs will likely not receive a payment for the final week of the year.
Lawmakers have passed a $2.3 trillion year-end bill to finally deliver coronavirus relief and fund the government. The final version of the bill came after months of negotiations. It includes $900 billion in much awaited COVID-19 relief. The deal provides funding for a number of bipartisan items, including another round of small-business aid through the Paycheck Protection Program, $600-per-person direct checks, up to $300 additional weekly unemployment payments and much more. The bill passed the House on Monday night and the Senate shortly after. Now President Trump is expected to sign it.
A one time payment of $600 will be sent to individuals making up to $75,000 a year. Couples making up to $150,000 will receive $1,200. Then there’s an additional $600 per child. The $600 checks phase out for individuals with an adjusted gross income higher than $75,000 in 2019, heads of households who earned more than $112,500 and for couples who made $150,000 or more. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday that the checks could go out as soon as next week.
This time around, mixed-status households with undocumented family members, will receive stimulus checks as well. They weren’t eligible for payments under the first round of legislation in the spring.
Additional Unemployment Benefits
Unemployed Americans will receive an extra $300 per week in federal cash through March 14. The legislation also extends employment benefits to self-employed individuals, gig workers and those who’ve exhausted their state benefits. The benefits aren’t retroactive.
The bill also would give an additional $100 a week to those who earned at least $5,000 a year in self-employment income but are disqualified from receiving a more generous Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefit because they are eligible for state jobless aid.
$325 Billion Small Business Assistance
The package includes an extension of the small business Paycheck Protection Program, which expanded eligibility to local newspapers, broadcasters and nonprofits. It will direct another $20 billion to small business grants and $15 billion to live event venues, $15 billion to help airlines maintain their payrolls and $20 billion for businesses in low-income communities. The small business aid is only expected to cover less than three months of payroll costs.
The agreement also provides a tax credit to support employers offering paid sick leave.
Education and Child Care
The agreement provides $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools. There is also $10 billion for child care assistance, to help get parents back to work and keep child care providers open.
The bill provides about $25 billion for rental assistance for families who are struggling to stay in their homes and provides an extension of eviction moratoriums. The latest legislation extended the moratorium through Jan. 31.
About $13 billion was secured for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and child nutrition benefits to help relieve the ongoing hunger crisis that leadership says has left up to 17 million children food insecure.
The bill will provide $45 billion for the nation’s transportation industry. which has been hard hit by the pandemic. There will be at least $15 billion for airline payroll assistance, plus $14 billion for transit systems and $10 billion for highways.