What’s New in the Third Covid-19 Stimulus Bill?

Senate Democrats voted to advance the latest round of the stimulus bill, which now goes back to the House for final approval before likely landing on President Biden’s desk.

The $1.9 trillion legislation known as the American Rescue Plan Act includes a range of measures, from stimulus checks to child tax credits, jobless benefits, vaccine-distribution funds, healthcare subsidies and restaurant aid. This deal would be the largest aid package to pass since widespread restrictions tied to the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.

The Senate bill closely reflects what was in the original House bill but includes changes extending unemployment benefits and narrowing the number of people who will receive stimulus checks.

What’s Different?

The current Senate legislation includes $1,400 checks for individuals making less than $75,000 annually and for married couples making less than $150,000 before phasing down—the largest individual section, totaling $410 billion. The package contains tens of billions of dollars to facilitate the vaccine rollout and $130 billion for schools to help safely reopen through improving ventilation, hiring more janitors and providing more personal protective equipment.

Vaccines and Testing

Roughly 7% of the stimulus funding will be directed toward Covid-19 treatment—testing and contact tracing making up the largest share of this policy section. The second largest is aid via the Disaster Relief Fund to cover funeral expenses related to Covid-19 deaths. Vaccine distributions and the distribution of other medical supplies also fall into this section.

Source: WSJ – US News

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