In a weekend session, the U.S. Senate passed the ‘American Rescue Plan Act’ – a Democrat-supported bill that includes stimulus payments, COVID provisions, and a slew of liberal wish list items. The bill passed 50-49 in a strict party-line vote. (Full Text HERE)
The bill includes $1,400 per person stimulus payments for those earning less than $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples), and for each of their dependents including college-aged children. President Biden said in an announcement Saturday that the payments would go out “this month.”
The bill also includes a $300 per week increase to unemployment benefits, $48 billion for testing, tracing and vaccination efforts, $150 billion for schools to implement COVID policies, $40 billion to help renters and homeowners afford their rent or mortgage, $25 billion for restaurants and bars, $7.5 billion for the CDC’s vaccine activities, 7.7 billion for State and local Public Health Departments, another $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, and extends the PPP to nonprofits.
The Wish List Items
The bill includes:
- A portion of $25.5 billion to be allocated to each of the 50 states and D.C. based on population
- An additional $1.25 billion direct payment to D.C.
- $45.6 billion for metropolitan areas (allocated based on formula in Housing and Community Development Act of 1974) – D.C. is also a city and is eligible
- $65.1 billion allocated to counties based on population, D.C. is treated as a single county in this bill.
- $50 billion for FEMA
- $39.6 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
- $10.2 billion for cybersecurity
- $4 billion for socially disadvantaged farmers/ranchers
- $20 billion for public transit
- $15 billion for businesses located in low-income communities
- $128.6 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund
- $6.1 billion for Indian Health Service
- $5 billion for homeless people programs
- $900 million for tribal housing, services, and oversight
- $850 million for the Bureau of Indian Education
- $620 million for the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Service Trust to increase payments to participants in racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, linguistic or geographical diverse communities
- $1 billion to AmeriCorps grantees located in certain communities based on racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, linguistic or geographic diversity.
- $175 million for businesses owned by those socially and economically disadvantaged individuals
- $150 million to the Department of Labor Worker Protection
- $135 million for the National Endowment of the Arts
- $135 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities
- $200 million for the Institute of Library Services
- $95 million for U.S. Fish and Wildlife
- $20 million for the Obamacare exchanges,
- $10 million for Native American Language Preservation
There is an increase to the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000. The tax credit is different than the dependent exemption every earner can claim in that it is restricted to children 17 and younger (college students do not qualify) and they must live with the earner. The new credit is refundable and increased to $3,000 ($3,600 for children 6 and under) for those making less than $75,000 per year ($150k for married filing jointly). Up to $1400 of the credit can be received as a refund if the credit is worth more than a person owes in federal taxes. Any refundable portion will be paid out in 6 equal payments from July to December 2021.
Stuff that didn’t make it
The $15 minimum wage hike and Schumer’s $1.5 million for a bridge between New York and Canada were both pulled out during Senate debate..
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