The House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package Wednesday. The President is expected to sign the bill on Friday. It is one of the most extensive stimulus plans in the history of the U.S.
The House passed the bill with a 220-211 margin, with the House Dems pushing the bill through. The bill was pushed through even though the economy has shown some improvement as stay-at-home orders are lifting. In February, the U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs, more than anticipated. Unemployment also fell to 6.2 percent.
But, 8.5 million fewer Americans worked in February of this year than were working in February 2020. Towards the middle of last month, over 18 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind.
The relief plan includes direct payments to Americans, unemployment aid, funds for vaccine distribution, expanded tax credits, and local and state relief, among other provisions.
Some of the most notable provisions in the bill are:
- An extension of $300 a week in unemployment benefits and additional programs that will enable more people to become eligible for unemployment assistance through September 6. The first $10,200 in unemployment benefits will also be tax-free.
- $1,400 for direct payments to the majority of Americans, including dependents. Aid begins to phase out for individuals earning $75,000 and will be capped at $80,000. Joint taxpayers will see a threshold of double the previous amounts. Eligibility will be based on the tax filer’s most recent tax return.
- The child tax credit will be expanded for a year and will increase to $3,000 for children aged 6 to 17 and $3,600 for kids under the age of 6.
- Around $20 billion is earmarked for COVID vaccine distribution and manufacturing and about $50 billion for testing and contact tracing efforts.
- An additional $25 billion for utility and rental assistance and $10 billion in mortgage aid.
- Federal relief to local, state, and tribal governments for $350 billion.
- $120 billion for K-12 schools.
- An increase of 15 percent for SNAP through September.
- Expanded provisions and subsidies for health insurance affordability programs for Americans.
- Approximately $30 billion of aid for restaurants.
- An expanded employee retention tax credit to help businesses keep employees on the payroll.