What’s in the House economic aid bill

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (photos from the White House and the U.S. Senate [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons)
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (photos from the White House and the U.S. Senate [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons)

The House Budget Committee began marking up the $1.9 trillion economic aid bill today at 1 p.m. Though that markup isn’t done as of this item’s publish time, markups are expected to be minor, so here’s some of what’s in the bill as of now:

  • $1,4000 direct aid payments per person for individuals earning up to $75,000 per year. The checks would start shrinking for those making more, with a hard cut-off at individuals earning $100,000.
  • An increase of the child tax credit from the current $2,000 per child to $3,000 for each child aged 6 to 17 and $3,600 for each child under age 6. The credit would have the same income thresholds as the stimulus checks. The 
  • A 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits would continue through September, instead of expiring at the end of June.
  • $880 million for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
  • States would be allowed to continue the Pandemic-EBT program, which provides families whose children’s schools are closed with funding to replace free- and reduced-price meals the kids would have received, through the summer.
  • $350 billion to state, local, and tribal governments.
  • $19.1 billion to state and local governments to help low-income households cover back rent, rent assistance, and utility bills.
  • About $10 billion to help struggling homeowners pay their mortgages, utilities and property taxes.
  • $5 billion to help state and local governments help the homeless.
  • $128.5 billion for K-12 schools to make them safer to reopen. The funds would be used for things such as reducing class sizes, modifying classrooms to enhance social distancing, installing ventilation systems, buying personal protective equipment, and hiring more nurses and counselors.
  • $40 billion for colleges and universities to defray pandemic-related expenses and provide emergency aid to students for expenses such as food, housing, and computer equipment. 
  • $25 billion for a new program benefiting restaurants and bars hurt by the pandemic. The grants would provide up to $10 million per business with a limit of $5 million per physical location.
  • $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Expanded federal unemployment benefits would be extended, with an increase from $300 a week to $400 a week through Aug. 29.
  • The federal minimum wage would gradually rise to $15 per hour by Jun 2025, and then be adjusted to increase at the same rate as median hourly wages.

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Written by Tracy Chapman. Cross-posted from The Rural Blog.

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A digest of events, trends, issues, ideas and journalism from and about rural America, by the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based at the University of Kentucky.

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