Here is the content of the American rescue plan
Updated March 11, 2021, 2:39 p.m. ET
President Biden on Thursday signed the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The colossal bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, allocates money for vaccines, schools, small businesses and anti-poverty programs such as an expanded child tax credit which will mean new monthly payments for many parents.
The House gave its final approval on Wednesday, after the Senate made changes to the original bill – some to meet Senate budgetary rules and others to gain support from moderate Democrats.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Had urged Republicans to join House Democrats in supporting the bill, but in the end no GOP member voted for it.
Republicans have argued that they were effectively left out of the process through reconciliation and that the package is too broad, saying only 9% of funds go directly to COVID-19 relief. Minority Parliamentary Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill a Democratic “wish list”.
But Democrats counter that the bill takes a holistic look at the entire U.S. economy and how it has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Senator Angus King, I-Maine, called the wording of the bill by Republicans “nonsense.”
“There are really two elements in this bill. One is directly related to the health crisis, but the other, and the bigger one, is related to the economic crisis that the health crisis has created,” said King to NPR’s Rachel Martin on Monday.
“The main elements of the bill – payments to individuals, long-term unemployment, money for states and towns, money for schools – all of these things were in the COVID package that was passed last year and for which all Republicans voted. So they were fine, but they’re not doing well now, and frankly, I can’t quite get that argument. ”
One hotly debated proposal that didn’t make the final cut was an increase in the minimum wage. Progressive Democrats have vigorously pursued the inclusion of a minimum wage hike in this legislation, which would have gradually raised the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by 2025. But the non-partisan Senate parliamentarian ruled that the The inclusion of such a provision was inconsistent with the complicated rules of budget bills. , so it is not in the final legislation.
Here’s a closer look at some of the important provisions of the Senate-amended bill that Biden signed.
The bill allocates funds for a third economic impact payment to eligible Americans.
Individuals earning up to $ 75,000 and couples earning up to $ 150,000 will receive full direct payments of $ 1,400 per person. Individuals will also receive an additional payment of $ 1,400 for each dependent claimed on their income tax returns.
Senate Democrats have agreed to lower the income threshold at which payments drop from $ 100,000 to $ 80,000 for individuals, and from $ 200,000 to $ 160,000 for couples filing jointly, following requests from the moderate democrats.
In the Senate version Biden signed, federal unemployment insurance payments will remain at $ 300 per week, up from $ 400 per week in the previous package passed by the House. The services will run until September 6. The Senate bill makes the first $ 10,200 in unemployment benefits tax-free for households with incomes below $ 150,000.
Child tax credit
The law will temporarily increase the child tax credit, increasing the amount to $ 3,000 for children aged 6 to 17 and to $ 3,600 for children under 6.
The amount is gradually reduced for couples earning more than $ 150,000 and people earning more than $ 75,000 per year. Families eligible for the full credit will receive payments of up to $ 300 per child per month from July through the end of the year.
The Democrats in Congress and the White House may want to find a way to make the credit permanent.
Paycheque Protection Program
The bill includes $ 7.25 billion in new money for the small business loan program known as PPP and will allow more nonprofits to apply, including groups that are engage in advocacy and some limited lobbying. It also allows larger nonprofits to be eligible.
There are over $ 128 billion in grants to state education agencies, 90% of which goes to local education agencies, plus $ 39 billion in grants to higher education institutions. Almost $ 15 billion in funds are channeled into the Child Care and Development Block Grant program to support child care facilities, especially in high need areas.
The Senate version signed by Biden added a provision that any student loan forgiveness passed between December 31, 2020 and January 1, 2026 is tax-free – rather than treating the forgiven debt as taxable income.
Support for low-income families
The legislation provides $ 4.5 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, to help families cover the costs of heating and cooling their homes. the House. A provision will give the Secretary of Agriculture the authority and funding to temporarily increase the value of cash vouchers for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) up to $ 35 per months for women and children for a period of four months. during the pandemic.
There is $ 1.4 billion in funding for programs licensed under the Older Americans Act, including support for nutrition programs, community support programs, and the National Family Caregiver Support Program.
The bill provides $ 37 million for the dietary supplement program for low-income seniors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to receive $ 7.5 billion to track, administer and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. An additional $ 46 billion will go to diagnosing and tracing coronavirus infections, and $ 2 billion will go to the purchase and distribution of various testing supplies and personal protective equipment.
There are a variety of provisions in the legislation to provide support to different industries. The Small Business Administration will get $ 25 billion for a new grant program for “restaurants and other eating establishments.” Grants will be $ 10 million per entity and $ 5 million per physical location, with a maximum of 20 locations. The legislation sets aside $ 5 billion of the total money that will go to businesses with less than $ 500,000 in revenue in 2019. The legislation provides an additional $ 1.25 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.
To support the transport sector, the legislation allocates nearly $ 30 billion for transport costs, including payroll and personal protective equipment; $ 8 billion for airports; $ 3 billion for a temporary payroll support program to help support the aerospace manufacturing industry; and $ 1.5 billion to recall and pay Amtrak employees who have been laid off due to the pandemic and to restore various daily routes. An additional $ 15 billion will also be allocated to support workers in the airline industry.
There is $ 25 billion for emergency rent assistance, including $ 5 billion for emergency housing vouchers for homeless people, survivors of domestic violence and victims of human trafficking humans.
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