The House passed the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan on Wednesday after revisions by the Senate.
President Joe Biden is expected to sign it on Friday, which will start the process of sending direct payments of around $1,400 to American citizens, expanding child tax credit and extending a $300 weekly unemployment supplement.
According to the New York Times, “By a vote of 220 to 211, the House sent the measure to Mr. Biden for his signature, cementing one of the largest injections of federal aid since the Great Depression.”
According to the bill, citizens who make under $75,000 and married couples making under $150,000 would receive direct payments of $1,400 per person. The bill would also provide $1,400 per adult dependent.
As income levels rise, the payments will decrease and will not extend to individuals who make above the income cap, $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples.
The Senate revised this particular point, lowering the cap in the House’s original version, which was $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for married couples.
Continuing, President Biden proposed increasing the supplemental benefit for those unemployed to $400 per week, and the House had agreed. However, the Senate kept it at $300.
“The Senate bill also includes a provision intended to avert surprise tax bills for people who lost jobs, waiving federal income taxes for the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 for households earning under $150,000,” according to New York Times.
The bill will also expand the child tax credit, which increased from $2,000 to $3,000 or more per child under 17.
In terms of fighting the pandemic, the bill will provide funding for vaccine distribution, coronavirus testing and contact tracing. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be receiving funding as well.
It will also temporarily increase subsidies for individuals who are purchasing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The bill will contribute a large amount of money to public health programs and health care for veterans, helping individuals who have become unemployed keep the health insurance they previously had through their employer. It will cover the full cost of premiums through a federal program called COBRA through nearly the end of the year.
What didn’t make the cut?
President Biden wanted to include an increase to the federal minimum wage, raising it from $7.25 per hour to $15.
The House accepted his proposal, however the Senate disagreed, stating that it violated rules the Senate had to follow to prevent a filibuster and “allowed for its approval with only Democratic support,” according to New York Times.
Another revision made by the Senate was dropping funding for a rail project in Silicon Valley, California, and funding for a bridge between New York and Canada.
In a statement from the White House, President Biden proclaimed, “This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation – the essential workers, the working people who built this country, the people who keep this country going – a fighting chance.”
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