President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package, the American Rescue Plan, has passed the Budget Committee and will be sent for a full House vote later this week. This new package includes direct aid to small businesses, another round of stimulus checks, an increase to the child tax credit, funding for state and local governments, and more. Here are two important things included in the Biden stimulus plan and one which was included, but then dropped from the plan as of 2/26/21.
Another stimulus check totaling $1,400 per eligible individual is in the proposed relief package. However, in this third round of stimulus checks, there are new rules to restrict payments to lower-income earners as government officials are focused on limiting the number of partial stimulus checks given to higher-income earners.
The qualifying income for the full $1,400 check is up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples. Under this new bill, families are eligible to receive up to $1,400 per dependent.
Eligibility will be expanded this round so that families with mixed citizenship are entitled to more money and the criteria for dependents has been loosened. For the first time, 17-year-olds and adult dependents will also be eligible for a payment as part of this plan. College students, older adults, and children of all ages with certain disabilities will also be included.
The IRS has a deadline of December 31, 2021, to distribute this round of payments.
In the third stimulus package, there are plans to increase the additional unemployment payments from $300 to $400 and extend the duration of distribution. The House version of the third plan will send additional unemployment payments until August 29, 2021, with triggers that extend these benefits after September for those who are still out of work.
Currently, under the second stimulus package, the enhanced unemployment benefits of $300 per week are set to expire on March 14, 2021. If approved by this date, the American Rescue Plan will renew the federal unemployment aid without any lapse in funding.
A boost for the federal minimum wage was included in the House version of the relief bill. The proposed legislation would have gradually raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour for all workers by 2024. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
UPDATE: As of 2/26/2021 a raise to the federal minimum wage will no longer be included in this bill. Although this portion of the bill was blocked in the Senate, lawmakers are vowing to bring the issue back at a later time.
Legislators are racing to meet a mid-March deadline for this coronavirus relief package before existing benefits, such as additional unemployment benefits, expire. House leaders plan to bring the bill to a vote by Sunday. It will then need to be sent to the Senate for approval.
If it can keep the aggressive timeline, Congress may deliver stimulus payments as soon as next month.
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