New COVID-19 Relief Bill Passed


Grace Hwang, Club Writer

On Wednesday, March 10, the House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. The bill was passed by a 220-211 margin without a single Republican vote. The bill is representative of a deep partisan divide between both parties on the level of recovery the country has experienced and the amount of support it needs. One Democrat opposed the bill as well. In the Senate, the Democrats used the special budget reconciliation process to pass the bill on their own.

Here is what is included in the relief package:

  • $350 billion in relief to state, local, and tribal governments
  • More than $120 billion into K-12 schools
  • About $50 billion into COVID-19 vaccine testing and contract tracing 
  • Almost $30 billion into restaurants
  • $25 billion into rental/utility assistance
  • About $20 billion into COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and distribution
  • $10 billion into mortgage aid
  • Expansion of the child tax credit for one year
    • $3,600 for children under the age 6
    • $3,600 for children between the ages 6 and 17
  • $1,400 in direct stimulus payments to most Americans and their dependents
    • Full payment for individuals making less than $75,000 annually or married couples making less than $150,000 annually
    • Entirely excluded individuals making more than $80,000 annually or married couples making more than $160,000 annually 
    • Eligibility based on a person’s most recent tax return
  • $300 per week until September 6, 2021 in jobless aid supplement and in programs making millions of people eligible for unemployment insurance 
    • First $10,200 in jobless benefits are tax-free for household making less than $150,000 annually
  • 15% increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit through September 2021
  • Expansion of subsidies/other provisions helping Americans afford health insurance
  • Expansion an employee retention tax so that companies keep workers on payroll 

President Biden signed the bill on Friday, March 12, 2021, after Congress formerly sends it to the White House.