Biden’s 1.9 Trillion Dollar COVID-19 Relief Plan Pushes Through Congress

Jack O, News Editor

   The House of Representatives moved along President Joe Biden’s 1.9 trillion dollar COVID-19 relief plan on February 27 and the Senate approved an edited version on March 6, which signals another round of stimulus checks for many Americans.

   According to CBS News, President Biden hoped for “quick action” from Senators on the large spending package dubbed the American Rescue Plan (cbsnews.com). 

   The Senate deliberated on some of the points of the bill, and the House provision to raise the federal minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour was removed from the bill (cbsnews.com). 

   According to CNBC, “The bill, which largely tracks the economic plan President Joe Biden unveiled in January, includes funding for vaccine production and distribution, another round of stimulus payments for many households, an extension of federal unemployment benefits and more” (cnbc.com). 

   The bill provides the funding for a third round of stimulus payments worth up to 1,400 dollars per individual and dependent. Those who earn up to 75,000 dollars a year in Adjusted Gross Income will receive the 1,400 dollars each, and again for each dependent. The payments then phase out for higher earners (cnbc.com).

The Senate deliberated on some of the points of the bill, and the House provision to raise the federal minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour was removed from the bill.”

   No Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Many conservatives have objected to the large size of the bill, and the inclusion of provisions they state are unrelated to the pandemic (cnbc.com).

   “The bill includes 30 billion dollars in emergency rental assistance and an additional 5 billion dollars to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks among homeless populations. Another 10 billion dollars is earmarked for mortgage assistance. The bill does not directly extend the nationwide eviction moratorium, which is currently slated to expire at the end of March,” according to CNBC (cnbc.com). 

   According to Bloomberg, the bill is a part of Biden’s campaign promise to bring 2,000 dollars in stimulus checks to Americans. The 1,400 dollars in this bill plus the 600 dollars given previously would add to make the 2,000 dollar total (bloomberg.com). 

   According to CNN, “The plan calls for providing 15 billion dollars to create a new grant program for small business owners, separate from the existing Paycheck Protection Program. It also proposes making a 35 billion dollar investment in some state, local, tribal, and non-profit financing programs that make low interest loans and provide venture capital to entrepreneurs” (cnn.com). 

   Senior Austin Manning said, “I hope people get the help they need. This past year has been very hard for a lot of people in this country, and it’s our job to give them support.”