The House of Representatives passed Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. Here is everything it includes

The United States House of Representatives early on Saturday voted to approve President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

The bill, which will now go to the Senate, was passed along almost entirely partisan lines. It was opposed by all Republicans and supported by all Democrats, except two moderate ones.

Amongst its most notable benefits, the bill includes $1,400 stimulus checks for Americans who make less than $75,000 a year and $2,800 for married couples making under $150,000.

According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, all these stimulus checks will cost a total of $422 billion.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Janet Yellen and business leaders Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz) 
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Janet Yellen and business leaders Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

The bill also provides for a $400 weekly supplement to unemployment benefits lasting through August 29. Under the previous package, this bonus was $300 per week.

To help parents and families that are struggling financially, the American Rescue Plan positions the IRS to provide $3,600 in tax credit per child under the age of 6, as well as $3,000 per child of ages 6 to 17. Currently, this tax credit is just $2,000 per dependent.

Families will also be able to claim up to half of their childcare expenses when filing taxes.

The bill reduces health care premiums for low- and middle-income families by increasing premium tax credits through the Affordable Care Act for 2021 and 2022. It also provides subsidies so that it is easier for workers who have recently been laid off or had their hours reduced to keep their health coverage.

The American Rescue Plan sets aside $50 billion for coronavirus testing and contact tracing. It also includes $19 billion for increasing the size of the public health workforce and $16 billion for funding vaccine distribution and supply chains.

To assist small businesses, the bill provides for $25 billion in grants for bars and restaurants that are in financial distress stemming from the pandemic. Additional funds provide for grants to other businesses and companies as well as pension grants.

The House bill also includes $350 billion in federal aid for state and local governments, territories, and tribes.

Under the American Rescue Plan, $90 billion would go toward funding for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, covering funeral expenses related to the coronavirus, airports, aviation manufacturers, and transit agencies like Amtrak.

Funding provided by the bill includes $130 billion for K-12 education that is meant to be used to create a more socially distant and covid-friendly academic environment for students. An additional $40 billion would go toward childcare providers and another $40 billion would go toward higher education.

The bill sets aside $10 billion for mortgage assistance and $30 billion in rental assistance as well as relief for the homeless.

While the American Rescue Plan originally included an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, this provision is unlikely to be included in the version of the bill that makes it to President’s desk as the Senate Parliamentarian ruled on Thursday against including the proposed wage increase in the relief package.

Noah Pitcher is a global politics correspondent for Today News Africa covering the U.S. government, United Nations, African Union, and other actors involved in international developments, political controversies, and humanitarian issues.

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