The $1.9 trillion coronavirus package passed by the Senate contains a wide range of proposals to help Americans still struggling with the economic fallout of the pandemic.
The Senate approved the plan in a 50-49 party line vote as Republicans questioned the need for another broad spending package. The legislation includes direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans, a $300 weekly boost to jobless benefits into September and an expansion of the child tax credit for one year. It also puts new funding into Covid-19 vaccine distribution and testing, rental assistance for struggling households and K-12 schools for reopening costs.
The package also includes $14 billion in payroll support for U.S. airlines, the third round of federal aid for the industry, in exchange for not furloughing or cutting workers’ pay rates through Sept. 30. Airline contractors were set aside $1 billion.
Under both the Senate and House bills, food stamp recipients would see a 15% increase in benefits continue through September, instead of having it expire at the end of June. And families whose children's schools are closed may be able to receive Pandemic-EBT benefits through the summer if their state opts to continue it.
“This isn’t a pandemic rescue package. It’s a parade of left-wing pet projects that they are ramming through during a pandemic,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Friday.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., held out hope for GOP support in a statement following the Senate’s passage of the plan.“The House now hopes to have a bipartisan vote on this life-saving legislation and urges Republicans to join us in recognition of the devastating reality of this vicious virus and economic crisis and of the need for decisive action,” she said.After he signs the rescue plan into law, Biden is expected to move toward his economic recovery and infrastructure proposal. Still, Schumer did not rule out another pandemic relief bill if economic conditions show areas of need. “If they need more help, we’ll do another bill,” he told reporters.
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The author Imtiaz Munshi is a Certified Public Accountant and CFO at Azstec, LLC. He is Business Strategist, Tax Planner, Entrepreneur and Advisor to "HNEs" (High Net Worth Entrepreneurs).