More COVID-19 relief could be on the way. The House passed a 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. The legislation contains many of the key elements of President Biden’s initial proposal. The bill provides direct payments up to 1400 per person to families earning less than 200K and individuals earning less than 100K per year. Families with children are also eligible for an extra 1400 per dependent. The amount of the benefit is calculated by 2019 or 2020 income. This payment would also extend to adult dependents for the first time.
The bill also provides economic relief for the unemployed, gig, contract, and freelance workers. If passed, unemployed Americans would receive an extra $400 per week thru the end of August. Gig workers, contract employees, and freelancers would remain in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for up to 74 weeks.
Other Bill highlights include:
- 15% increase in SNAP benefits through September.
- 1 Billion to State and Local governments to assist low-income renters with past due rent and utilities.
- 10 Billion to assist homeowners with past-due real estate taxes, mortgage, and utility payments.
- 5 Billion to State and Local Governments to assist with homelessness.
The COVID-19 relief package also includes more help for Small Business owners.
- 15 billion added to the EIDL program.
- 25 billion in a new grant for bars and restaurants
- 7 billion more added to the PPP loan program
Removed from the bill was an increase to the Federal minimum wage. Currently, at 7.25/hour, Democrats wanted to increase it to $15/hour.
The bill now heads to the Senate for approval. Democrats indicated they want the bill to pass before current expanded unemployment benefits expire on March 14.
Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.