The 10 Craziest Items Pelosi Tried To Sneak Into The Stimulus Bill
10. $35 million for the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts9. Increased fuel efficiency standards for airlines.8. Diversity transparency regulations for corporations.7. Nationwide Mail-In Voting, Same Day Registration, and Ballot Harvesting6. ObamphonesOBAMAPHONES.5. Post Office Bail-Out4. Extension of Foreign Worker Visas3. Funding for Planned Parenthoodcomplaining2. Foreign Refugee and Migration Assistance Funding1. Permanent Amnesty for Illegal Alienspressuring
No $15 Minimum Wage Increase Right Now
Senate Democrats jettisoned a provision in the relief bill to boost the minimum wage, after the Senate parliamentarian, who determines which items can and can’t be included in the bill under a technique known as budget reconciliation, determined that the provision fell outside of guidelines. Proponents will look to include the $15 hourly rate in another bill.
“If any Senator believes this is the last time they will cast a vote on whether or not to give a raise to 32 million Americans, they are sorely mistaken,” Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted March 5. “We’re going to keep bringing it up, and we’re going to get it done because it is what the American people demand and need.”
Tax Rebates Tax Credits And Tax Deductions
- Provides credits against the 2020 personal income tax for eligible individuals. These advance payments will be sent to people in April 2020. Eligibility for the advance payments will be based on the person’s income tax return for 2019, or 2018 if the return for 2019 has not been filed yet. Individuals who are not required to file an income tax return but are eligible for the advance payment may register through the Internal Revenue Service’s web site. Eligible individuals who receive social security benefit payments will generally receive payments without registering. The payments are not, contrary to common misconception considered taxable income.
- $2,400 to each married couple filing jointly or $1,200 to each other individual, and
- $500 for each dependent who is a qualifying child under age 17 as of December 31, 2020.
- Payment amounts are reduced for each married couple filing jointly whose adjusted gross income is between $150,001 and $198,000. Payments are reduced for a head of household whose adjusted gross income is between $112,501 and $146,500. Payments are reduced for each other individual whose adjusted gross income is between $75,001 and $99,000.
- An individual is not eligible if he can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. An individual is also not eligible if he is a nonresident alien.
Read Also: Get My Stimulus Payment Tracker
Rental And Food Assistance
The CARES Act also established housing and food assistance programs that have helped Americans hit by the pandemic. The eviction and foreclosure moratoriums will expire at the end of the year if an extension isn’t put in place, potentially leading to homelessness for millions of Americans.
Luckily, emergency assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which boosted allotments for many, will continue through the end of the year.
Still, if there isn’t more funding sent to SNAP, increased allotments will run out at some point, said Elaine Waxman, a senior fellow in the Income and Benefits Policy center at the Urban Institute. In September, nearly 1 in 5 adults and their households experienced food insecurity, according to research from the Urban Institute.
The boost is important both for families and the economy, she said. “By giving them more, we hope that they are going to spend more or try to retain their spending on food rather than cut into that to pay rent or utilities,” said Waxman.
The bipartisan plan would earmark $25 billion for rental housing assistance, and $26 billion for nutrition and agriculture. McConnell’s plan doesn’t mention any further housing or food assistance thought it does allocate $20 billion to farm assistance and $500 million for fishers.
Capitalisnt: Coronavirusthe Winners And Losers In The Stimulus Bill
In order to combat the coronavirus and its economic fallout, the US Congress has passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill. It targets individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. But, from an economic point of view, who are the real winners and losers? On this episode of the Capitalisnt podcast, hosts Kate Waldock and Luigi Zingales analyze the CARES Act: is it enough money to stabilize the tanking US economy, does it target the right people, and does it accomplish the right objectives?
Luigi: So, Kate, you are sheltering in place in New York. How is life over there?
Kate: Honestly, I dont feel like any time has gone by since the last time we recorded a podcast. I havent left the apartment. I havent gotten any new groceries and basically havent moved and havent stopped working. So, I dont know. Im in a weird sort of time bubble.
What about you, Luigi? Whats new in your life?
Luigi: Actually, it is difficult to keep track of the days, because, youre right, they go by one after the other, and they are so similar that I started to keep a diary just to make sure that I remember which day is which.
Kate: Oh, thats a good idea.
Luigi: But the big news is that my daughter, who seems to have gotten COVID in France, is doing better. And that is the big news.
Kate: Wait, you didnt tell us about this.
Kate: So, shes better, though? She didnt have to be hospitalized.
Kate: All of the Capitalisnt listeners, our hearts go out to her.
Kate: Good one.
Also Check: When Were Stimulus Checks Sent Out
You Say Potato I Say Stimulus
To some extent, these definitions may be distinctions without a difference.
Even a narrowly tailored relief package would have some stimulative effect on the economy. All those economic impact checks the government sent out in 2020 were meant as relief, but they had a significant stimulating impact as well.
To the extent that a program gets people spending more, it is a stimulus. To the extent that the same program leads to job creation for the unemployed, it is a relief package.
Ultimately, the word matters less than the impact. And economists in the White House, Federal Reserve and academia like me will be tracking it closely.
Plus 8 European Countries Cease Use Of Astrazeneca Vaccine One In Five Americans Has Lost Somebody In The Pandemic And More
Covering COVID-19 is a daily Poynter briefing of story ideas about the coronavirus and other timely topics for journalists, written by senior faculty Al Tompkins. Sign up here to have it delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.
We have written about the stimulus checks that people hope will hit their bank accounts by the end of the month. But $1.9 trillion goes a long way, and this bill sets aside huge amounts of money for things that also deserve your attention.
Independently owned restaurants will get $28.6 billion from the American Rescue Plan.USA Today puts it this way:
The bill creates a new grant program modeled off the Restaurants Act that stalled last year in the Senate offering direct debt-free aid to independent restaurants with 20 or fewer locations.
A group called the Independent Restaurant Coalition, along with the much larger National Restaurant Association, has been at the forefront of lobbying for this help. The Small Business Administration plans to start taking grant applications within weeks. Restaurant Hospitality, an industry publication, reports:
The bill includes $1.25 billion for the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant Program. That is a fraction of the $15 billion sent to this fund in December. This does not mean that concerts and festivals will reopen anytime soon, but the grants may help them hang on. The Small Business Administration explains who will be eligible:
As they say on those TV commercials, But wait, theres more.
Recommended Reading: When Are They Sending Out Stimulus Checks
Do People Need A Fourth Stimulus Check
According to CNBC, there is a case for a fourth stimulus check that goes beyond the calls from lawmakers. The Economic Security Project, a progressive organization that advocates for guaranteed income no matter what the state of the economy, says there’s a need for more stimulus checks.
We need at least one more check, said Adam Ruben.
Ruben, the campaign director at the Economic Security Project, also said that stimulus checks should be “automatic,” and not stalled as they were last summer when second stimulus check negotiations caused a long gap between the $1,200 and $600 payments.
There are signs of recovery, though. The June jobs report showed a gain of 850,000, which was better than expected, according to The New York Times. That’s the strongest one-month gain since last summer.
Likewise, the Commerce Department said that gross domestic product had grown at an annualized rate of 6.5% for April through June of 2021, surpassing the figure it had reached before the pandemic, the Washington Post reported. However, that was less than the 8% GDP growth some economists had forecast.
Regardless, certain lawmakers are pushing for relief.
This unprecedented moment demands an unprecedented response. People dont only need relief, they need stability, certainty, and predictability and the ABC Act delivers them exactly that,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal .
However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, didn’t appear to agree.
Special Inspector General For Pandemic Recovery
The legislation also requires oversight by a separate Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery who will monitor loans and investments from a $500 billion corporate bailout fund established by the legislation. A provision in the legislation empowers the special inspector general to audit the use of the fund requires the Treasury Department and other executive-branch entities to provide information to the special inspector general and directs the special inspector general to report to Congress “without delay” if an agency unreasonably withholds requested information. The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee will coordinate the work of the SIGPR.
Amidst reports that Trump would nominate White House lawyer Brian Miller for this job, Montana Senator Jon Tester and Utah Senator Mitt Romney drafted a letter to the president requesting a different, independent Special Inspector General. Miller was confirmed by the Senate on June 2.
Also Check: Stimulus Check In May 2021
What Else Is In That Stimulus Bill
Doug Palmer reports that House and Senate leaders had agreed on a large set of changes in U.S. Trade Adjustment Assistance programs to be included in the stimulus bill.: Lawmakers agree to expand trade adjustment aid:
The proposal reauthorizes the TAA program through the end of 2010and increases funds for worker training by nearly 160 percent to $575million.
It triples funding to $50 million for a program that helps businesscope with foreign competition and authorizes $230 million to helpmostly small and medium-sized communities adjust to trade-related joblosses.
The reforms also allow coverage for workers whose companies haveshifted production to China, India and other countries, even if they donot a have trade pact with the United States which previously had beenthe requirement.
Hat tip to Jonathan Dingel at Trade Diversion.
On a different topic, this is a concern: Palmer also reports that:
As of Thursday evening, congressional appropriations committees withjurisdiction over the Buy American provision still had not releaseddetails of the final version.
But apparently Congress will be voting on it Friday :
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that Congress isnearly finished with a massive, $790 billion economic stimulus plangiving President Barack Obama a big victory, but not everything hewanted.
Feb 15: Clive Crook – who thinks the bill that passed was better than no action – points to some of the items we’re beginning to find: Fiscal stimulus: repent at leisure:
A Financial Boost For The Affordable Care Act
For those purchasing health insurance through the Affordable Care Acts marketplace, the bill will temporarily increase subsidies, which means lower monthly premiums and possibly lower copays. This will also help people who have lost jobs keep the health insurance they had through their previous employer by covering the full cost of premiums through a federal program called COBRA. Currently, this program is set to go through in September.
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Fourth Stimulus Check Update
Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act, which created the third stimulus checks, did boost tax credits for most parents with children under 18, but only for the year 2021. Most parents and legal guardians will receive a tax credit of $3,600 for children under six, and $3,000 per child aged six through 17.
Half of that credit is coming in the form of monthly advance payments to parents beginning July 15 $300 per month for younger kids, and $250 for older ones. That’s similar to the monthly recurring checks that some legislators have called for.
The same law also retroactively exempted a large chunk of unemployment benefits paid out in 2020 from federal income tax. People who collected unemployment in 2020 and paid tax on it are getting thousands of dollars in tax-refund checks.
The American Rescue Plan Act also offers tax credits that cover all or most of the cost of a “Silver” health-insurance plan for six months under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. You’re eligible for this if you filed for unemployment benefits at any time in 2021, and if you don’t currently get health insurance through Medicare, Medicaid or someone else’s health plan.
Biden’s American Families Plan, which is separate from the American Jobs Plan, will seek to extend those tax credits, including the advance payments, through the end of 2025.
The American Families Plan would also mandate up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave and subsidies for childcare.
Coronavirus Stimulus Checks: Who May Be Eligible
On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that they had reached a stimulus deal. The new bill includes $600 in stimulus checks for each eligible individual, as well as $600 per dependent child.
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Though Congress hasnt yet revealed the full language of the bill, if the new package follows the same criteria as the CARES Act, then a family of four could potentially get $2,400 in stimulus payment.
Moreover, if the income criteria is the same as earlier, then to qualify for the full stimulus payment, an individual should have an income of up to $75,000 .
For those earning more, $5 is reduced for every $100 income above the income thresholds. We, however, do expect there might be a change in how the income would be phased out for those earning more.
Talking of when you would receive the payment, the checks could be expected to be disbursed earlier than last time. The IRS was able to disburse more than 81 million payments within two weeks of the CARES Act going into effect.
I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into peoples direct accounts, Mnuchin said in August.
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The Public Health Bill
What It is:
The first of the U.S. governments Covid-19 stimulus bills is formally named the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.
Signed into law in early March, this stimulus bill was all about providing emergency funding to help assist the U.S. public health response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Specifically, the bill comprised $8.3 billion in additional funding for various organizations engaged in the public health fight with Covid-19, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health , among others.
The bill also included $4 billion to make coronavirus testing kits more widely available, and $1 billion in small business loans.
How It Helped:
This public health stimulus bill helped America fight the pandemic on the front lines. Additional funding helped scale testing capacity, advance vaccine research and increase available equipment at hospitals.
Childcare Education And More
Both plans also include further support for childcare and education. The bipartisan plan would allocate $82 billion towards education, $4 billion to student loans and $10 billion to childcare. There are few further details about these items presented in a draft framework.
McConnell’s plan also includes some support for childcare and education it would give emergency funds to some scholarship granting organizations, expand tax credits for those organizations, broaden rules for spending money in 529 accounts and provide short-term assistance for childcare providers to stay open.
McConnell’s plan would also give some taxpayers a bigger break it would increase an above-the-line deduction that would allow taxpayers to write off charitable donations to $600 or $1,200 for those filing jointly from $300 established in the CARES Act for those claiming the standard deduction.
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Worker Protections And Job Security
Democrats included provisions in the new bill that require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a “strong, enforceable standard” and require all workplaces to develop and implement infection control plans based on CDC expertise, according to the one-page brief that lead author of the bill, Rep. Nita Lowey , released.
Democrats have also included proposed protections that stop Americans from losing health insurance if they’re laid off. Instead, unemployed Americans will be able to get access to subsidies for health care through the insurance marketplaces, as well as a special enrollment period. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that up to 12 million Americans may have lost their employer-sponsored health insurance.
Democrats are also proposing to extend paid sick and family leave, enacted in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, through the end of February 2021. Employees employed by companies with less than 500 employees are generally eligible for two weeks of paid sick leave under the program, but it also provides benefits to parents who are unable to secure child care.
The bill also aims to provide relief to several hard-hit industries, including airlines and restaurants. The bill gives $25 billion to U.S. airlines to help those corporations avoid layoffs, with another $3 billion earmarked for independent contractors who service the airlines. The bill also allocates $120 billion in aid to the restaurant industry.