Written by Daniel Maloney (News Writer)
With a new $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill being signed into law by President Biden, many are wondering how much they may be getting in stimulus, and what else is in the package. One of the most important things for run-of-the-mill people is the new $1,400 stimulus check, and up to $3,600 in child tax credit per child, along with many other things. But the bill could not have gone without change as some senate Democrats opposed the $15 minimum wage, which ended up taken out of the bill, to the dismay of many Democrats. The bill passed by a close margin of only 50-49.
Along with the $1,400 in stimulus, the relief package also included a multitude of other forms of assistance going out to Americans. One of these is the expansion of the child tax credit for one year, increasing to $3,600 per child under 6 and $3,000 for kids between 6 and 17. This has been said to be able to help massively decrease the child poverty rates by many experts. $25 billion in rental and utility assistance and about $10 billion for mortgage aid are also being given out. It also increases the scale of the $300 per week unemployment insurance, making millions more eligible and extending it until September 6th, and with more than $150 billion being sent out to primary and secondary schools, it will greatly help them get back to in-person learning and fund many other things. Another massive part of the bill is $350 billion in relief to state and local governments and $20 billion into COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and distribution, along with roughly $50 billion into testing and contact tracing. While there are many more relief provisions, these are some of the largest and more important to everyday people.
While the bill has been fully signed by President Biden and into action, some changes had to be made to get it to pass in the Senate and House before it could move forward. One of the largest of these is the removal of the $15 federal minimum wage, which was one of the major points of contention of the bill and something that many Democrats were hoping to get onto the bill, but in the end, were not able to do. Another change made was who would get the $1,400 stimulus check. While at first, it was to go to individuals making $100,000 or less and couples making $200,000, this was reduced to $80,000 and $160,000 respectively, all based on Americans’ most recently filed tax return. Other changes included an additional $200 million to Amtrak, $510 million for homeless services under the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and $175 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, among other changes to how much money goes to who.
All in all, the new COVID relief bill has money being given out to citizens in many ways. The largest of these is a $1,400 stimulus check, along with a child tax credit of up to $3,600 per child. It additionally scales up the weekly $300 unemployment insurance, making it available to millions of more Americans and extending it by six months. The bill also gives in all $35 billion to rental assistance and mortgage aid. The bill was unable to keep the $15 minimum wage when passed through congress.