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What’s in the $ 1.9T COVID-19 bill passed by Congress?

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a comprehensive package of aid to the Republican opposition, sending it to President Biden to sign. A victory of political significance would provide a check for $ 1,400 for most Americans; it would send billions of dollars to schools, state և local governments և businesses.

Democrats say their “American rescue plan” will help the country overcome the virus and improve its economy. Republicans have criticized the $ 1.9 trillion package for being too expensive, complaining that it exaggerates national debt, and sending money to programs not directly linked to the epidemic. The measure builds back on five earlier virus bills, totaling about $ 4 trillion, which Congress passed last spring.

A look at some important points of the legislation.

Assistance to the unemployed

Extended unemployment benefits from the federal government will be extended until September 6 to $ 300 a week. It’s all about what beneficiaries get through their state unemployment insurance program. The first $ 10,200 in unemployment benefits calculated for 2020 is not taxable for households earning less than $ 150,000.

In addition, the measure provides for a 100% subsidy on COBRA health insurance premiums to ensure that laid-off workers can stay free of charge in their employer’s health plans until the end of September.


The law provides for a direct payment of $ 1,400 for a single taxpayer, or $ 2,800 for a couple divorcing, plus $ 1,400 per dependency. Individuals earning up to $ 75,000 will receive the full amount, as will married couples earning up to $ 150,000.

The check will be reduced for those earning a little more, a sharp cut of $ 80,000 for individuals and $ 160,000 for married couples.

Most Americans will receive the full amount. The average household income in 2019 was $ 68,703, according to the US Census Bureau. Biden said the payments would begin this month.


The legislation will send $ 350 billion to state և local governments և tribal governments by the end of 2024. The bill also requires small states to receive at least the amount they received under viral legislation passed by Congress last March.

Many communities have hit their tax base during the epidemic, but the impact varies from state to state. Critics point out that the funding is not targeted, it is much higher than last year’s billions of dollars allocated to states and communities that have not yet been spent.

Help for schools

The bill provides an additional $ 130 billion in additional assistance to schools for kindergarten to 12th grade students. The money will be used to reduce the size of the classrooms, to change classrooms, to improve social distance, to install ventilation systems, to purchase personal protective equipment. The money could also be used to hire more nurses, counselors, and janitors, as well as to provide a summer school.

Expenditures for colleges and universities will increase by about $ 40 billion. The money will be used to cover the institution’s epidemic costs, provide emergency care to students, and cover food, housing, and computer equipment.


The new program for restaurants and bars affected by the epidemic will receive $ 28.6 billion. Grants provide up to $ 10 million for each company, with a limit of $ 5 million for each physical location. Grants can be used to cover salaries, rent, utilities, and other operating expenses.

The bill also provides $ 7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which was a small part of the previous legislation. The bill also allows more nonprofits to apply for loans to help borrowers meet their salaries, operating expenses, and possibly forgiveness.

Testing և vaccines

The bill provides about $ 50 billion to expand COVID-19 testing, expand contract search capabilities with new investments, expand laboratory capacity, and set up mobile testing units. It also contains more than $ 15 billion to accelerate the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines across the country. Another $ 1 billion will be spent on boosting vaccine confidence. And $ 10 billion will be spent on the supply of anti-virus medical devices and equipment under the Defense Production Act.


Some pieces of legislation push for long-term democratic priorities, such as increasing coverage under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. Financial assistance would be significantly more generous to ACA premiums, and a larger number of strong middle-class households would be satisfied. Although sweetened subsidies are only available until the end of 2022, they will reduce the cost of coverage and are expected to boost the number of people involved.

The measure also raises more money for dozens of states, mostly in the south, that have not yet undertaken the expansion of Medicaid, which is available under ACA to cover lower-income adults. It is unclear whether such a sweetener will be enough to start the Republicans’ long-standing opposition to Medicaid expansion.

The bill also provides $ 3 billion to states to help address mental health and substance abuse problems exacerbated by the epidemic. More than $ 14 billion is being raised to support the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Under current law, most taxpayers can reduce the federal income tax bill to $ 2,000 per child. In the event of a significant change, the bill would increase tax benefits to $ 3,000 for each child aged 6 to 17, and $ 3,600 for each child under the age of 6.6.

The law also requires that payments be made on a monthly basis, instead of a lump sum. If the Treasury Secretary decides that this is not feasible, payments should be made as often as possible.

Households will receive full credit, no matter how little they produce in a year, leading to criticism that the changes will serve as a stimulus. According to Columbia University’s Center for Poverty and Social Policy, add $ 1,400 in inspections, other items, and legislation to reduce the number of children in poverty by more than half.

The bill also significantly expands the income tax credit for 2021, making it accessible to people without children. Low-income middle-income loans will be $ 543-1502, depending on income և submission status.


The bill calls for more than $ 30 billion to help low-income households pay their rent and help the homeless. States և tribes will receive an additional $ 10 billion for homeowners struggling with mortgage payments and other housing costs due to the epidemic.



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