The Senate has passed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan after a marathon debate. It now needs to make one last trip to the House for final approval.
While the House passed a version of the bill that largely mirrors the original proposals, the Senate has made a number of amendments that have narrowed the bill and pared back eligibility for the next round of stimulus checks. The version passed by the chamber is scheduled to go to the House for the bill’s final approval on Tuesday, it would then head to the president for his signature.
Here are some of the key differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
Both the House and Senate versions of the bill provide another round of direct payments to Americans, with checks up to $1,400 going to hundreds of millions of eligible individuals. However. The Senate bill instills stricter income limits on who is eligible, which disqualifies millions of people from receiving a payment.
Both House and Senate bills propose:
The full $1,400 for individuals earning up to $75,000 and married couples with a combined income up to $150,000.
Gradually smaller checks to those earning more and phasing out completely for those above a certain threshold.
The Senate’s changes to the income cap:
The House version of the bill proposed a gradual increase of the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021. The Senate’s version does not include a wage increase as it fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass.
The stimulus package passed in December 2020 included an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits that extend through March 14, 2021. The House version increased the benefit to $400 per week through August 29, 2021, but the Senate left it at the current pay of $300 per week through September 6, 2021.
The Senate bill also exempts $10,200 in unemployment benefits received in 2020 from federal taxes for families making less than $150,000 per year.