Biden Unveils New $1.9 Trillion COVID-Relief Stimulus Plan
Biden’s Spending Proposal Includes Bigger Stimulus Checks, Unemployment Benefits, Emergency Funds, and More
On Thursday evening, President-elect Biden outlined his new $1.9 trillion spending package as part of his initial effort for Coronavirus relief. Biden’s stimulus plan is designed to help combat the COVID-19 virus and assist with the nation’s economic recovery.
The proposal includes over $400 billion of funding to fight the virus directly, which includes programs to accelerate vaccine distribution. It also allocates more money for stimulus checks for individuals, expanded unemployment benefits, paid leave for employees, and federal subsidies for people with child care costs.
Here is what’s included in Biden’s latest stimulus proposal:
Another Round of Stimulus Checks – $1,400 Per Person
Mr. Biden’s plan would provide eligible Americans with a third stimulus check, this time for up to $1,400 per individual.
1st Round of Stimulus Checks
The first round of stimulus payments came from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (a.k.a. The CARES Act), which was signed into law in late March of 2020. The maximum amount you can get for this stimulus check is $1,200 per individual (or $2,400 for a married couple that files a joint tax return). Additionally, you can get an extra $500 for each qualified dependent child who’s under your care.
2nd Round of Stimulus Checks
The second round of stimulus checks came from the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020, which was signed into law in late December of 2020. The maximum amount you can get for this stimulus check is $600 per individual (or $1,200 for a married couple that files a joint tax return). You can also get an extra $600 for each qualified dependent child who’s under your care.
3rd Round of Stimulus Checks
Biden’s proposal would include a third round of stimulus check – a $1,400 direct payment for each eligible individual. This amount is more than the first or second rounds of stimulus payments, however, keep in mind that Biden’s stimulus plan must pass the U.S. Congress and the Senate before it can be signed into law.
More Unemployment Benefits
Biden’s plan would extend the government’s expanded unemployment benefits (originally expanded under the CARES Act) and give jobless workers a $400 weekly supplement through the end of September 2021. This is an increase from the $300 per week unemployment compensation that was authorized by the second major stimulus bill back in late December 2020.
The plan also extends two unemployment programs that were created as a result of the Coronavirus crisis – the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Biden said he wants to provide emergency paid leave for over 100 million Americans, no matter how large or small their employer/company is.
Rental & Eviction Assistance
Biden’s proposal would allocate $25 billion for rental aid for low- and moderate-income families who have lost their jobs during the pandemic, and $5 billion more would be provided to renters who need help paying their utilities bills.
Biden also wants to extend the federal eviction moratorium until the end of September 2021. Otherwise, the eviction moratorium will expire on January 31, 2021.
Federal Tax Breaks
Mr. Biden’s plan includes a boost to the Child Tax Credit for one year, making it worth up to $3,600 for each child under age 6 and $3,000 for each child between age 6 and 17. Additionally, the tax credit would fully refundable (instead of partially refundable, as it is now).
The plan would also increase the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for one year and expand eligibility by raising the income limit and age qualification.
Grants for Small Businesses
Biden wants to allocate $15 billion for a new federal grant program to help small business owners who have been hit hard by the COVID pandemic. This grant program would be separate from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was originally created by the CARES Act.
Funding for Vaccine Distribution
Biden’s plan includes a $20 billion “national vaccine program” that would have large vaccination centers in sports stadiums and event centers around the country. He also wants to launch a “public health jobs program” to help boost the economy and improve the government’s Coronavirus vaccine outreach and response. Mr. Biden has promised to get “100 million Covid vaccine shots into the arms of the American people” within his first 100 days in office.
Money for States & Schools
The proposal would provide $350 billion for state and local governments, to help them pay their frontline employees, increase COVID testing, disburse vaccines, maintain important public services, and re-open schools.
Another $170 billion would be give to schools (K-12, colleges, and universities) so they can re-open safely or assist with remote learning programs.
Stay tuned for more information about the next stimulus deal.