Joe Biden, US President, had just approved the American Rescue Plan, which stipulates that more than $1,400 are dedicated to stimulus checks. However, the plan expands to include benefits for different sectors. For example, $1.9 trillion of COVID’s relief package are allocated for health care, unemployment benefits, schools, and businesses. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the help of the new stimulus package.
The American Rescue Plan extends the supplemental unemployment benefits to September 6th alongside raising the weekly federal benefit to $400. Nevertheless, the Senate dropped the passed bill to raise the benefit back to $300. Moreover, the bill includes reducing taxes for households making less than $150.000 annually, alleviating the tax burden, and preventing surprise IRS bills.
The bill entails $170 billion to schools as well as colleges and universities. Stressing on the importance of getting more people- particularly women-to teach in-person, around $130 billion are allocated to K-12 schools. Such money is dedicated to hiring more teachers to size-down the classes, improving classrooms and facilities to meet the students’ academic and personal needs, and guaranteeing medical, technological, as well as technological benefits. Furthermore, $40 billion are directed at colleges and universities with the aim of making student loan forgiveness tax-free.
Health Care Expansion
A major expansion to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is also addressed in the bill, with $34.2 billion allocated for health care. Medical Insurance subsidies will be provided to those who are not covered by their employers, or the government and tax credits will be provided for employers with less than 500 people in their workforce.
Child Tax Credit
The plan increases the current child tax credit, which provides up to $2.000 per child as well as is more inclusive of families with limited or no income every year. Hence, the tax credit will increase to $3.600 per child for children under the age of 6 and $3.000 for children up to 17 years old. Furthermore, families will be eligible for the full credit under the new plan, unlike the current plan in which they do not receive more than $1.400 as a refund in case the credit exceeds the taxes they owe. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that the credit will phase out if the incomes surpass $150.000 per household or $75.000 per individual.
Since small and medium-sized businesses were affected the most by the global pandemic, the bill allocates $25 billion to help restaurants that had to shut down during lockdown. Also, $15 billion go to Economic Injury Disaster Loans, $1.25 billion for venue operators, and $7.25 billion for forgivable loans in the Paycheck Protection Program, also known as PPP.
Landlords and Tenants
The bill allocates $45 billion as rental assistance to help households with low income, enabling them to make up for their lost jobs and pay their mortgages and utility bills. Moreover, an additional $5 billion is provided to localities and states to help with emergency housing and combatting homelessness. Finally, $4 billion is dedicated to black farmers to help with their debt relief.
COVID Vaccinations and Testing
The bill provides $160 billion to cover the testing programs to develop and distribute the COVID vaccine to combat the virus. In partnership with states and localities, $20 billion are included in the bill to establish community vaccination centers and have mobile vaccination units deliver the vaccine to remote areas.