Written by Quinlan Bourret (News Writer)
Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package has been passed in the Senate and has also passed in the Democrat-controlled House, Biden will be signing it within two weeks. Known as the American Rescue Plan, the package will provide $1,400 stimulus checks for all Americans that make less than $75,000 a year and couples that make less than $150,000 a year.
The bill barely passed the Senate by the slim margin of 50-49 with no Republicans voting in favor, and all Democrats for. The Republicans had one less vote as a result of Senator Dan Sullivan being absent for a funeral. There was some difficulty in getting the bill through with changes being made. The increase of the minimum wage to $15 that was a part of the bill was removed after eight moderate Democrats opposed it. There was also an eleven-hour session of negotiations over unemployment aid. A number of amendments to the bill were proposed, many by Republicans who sought to make changes, believing the bill was too much and included unrelated spending.
Less than a quarter of the $1.9 trillion dollars goes towards the stimulus checks. The money will be spent on education (9%), vaccines (5.5%), funding for local governments (19%), unemployment programs (13%), and tax credits (7.5%). Although much of the package will be a response to Covid-19, a large portion of it will be going towards mostly unrelated places, such as the funding for local governments.
The package will be making some differences in the way unemployment aid is granted. The outright payment will be reduced from $400 to $300, but there will be tax relief for $10,200 for jobless payments.
Assuming the bill will be voted on in the House just like it was in the Senate, that is, along party lines, it should pass 221-211. With some room for error, it seems incredibly likely that Biden will be able to sign it and the bill will pass into law. Relief from Covid-19 will soon be able to help many Americans across the country.