The American Rescue Plan, the bill providing $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief and economic stimulus, is through the House and on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk, reportedly to be signed Friday afternoon.
The House passed the version of the bill passed Saturday by the Senate in a 220 to 211 vote, with Democratic Rep. Jared Golden joining all Republicans in opposing it.
This is something to celebrate. Badly needed help is on the way to millions of people in the U.S. Some numbers:
- $1,400 direct payments will go out to single filers who earned less than $75,000, heads of household who earned less than $112,500, and couples filing jointly who earned less than $150,000. Payments will phase out above those levels.
- Taxpayers will also get $1,400 for their dependents, including older teenagers who were excluded from previous rounds of relief.
- 11.4 million people will continue getting unemployment benefits rather than seeing them expire in the coming weeks.
- 18 million unemployed people will get $300 a week as a supplement to their state’s regular benefits.
- Nearly 10 million children will be lifted up to the poverty level or above. That cuts child poverty by 45% and poverty among Black children by 50%.
- 40 million people received unemployment insurance in 2020; $10,200 of benefits will be exempted from taxation, preventing surprise tax bills to people already struggling.
- Eligibility for the earned income tax credit will expand, and its top amount will nearly triple.
- The child and dependent care tax credit will more than triple.
A very important note: If you would not qualify for the $1,400 payment on the basis of your 2019 tax returns but you would qualify based on your 2020 returns, file your taxes now!
On Thursday evening, Biden will give a prime-time address to the nation, marking a year since widespread shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.