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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Stimulus Package Update: Everything you need to know about the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 tax package

US Senators backed the $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package.

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Aakash Molpariya
Aakash started in Nov 2018 as a writer at Revyuh.com. Since joining, as writer, he is mainly responsible for Software, Science, programming, system administration and the Technology ecosystem, but due to his versatility he is used for everything possible. He writes about topics ranging from AI to hardware to games, stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. He is a trained IT systems engineer and has studied computer science. By the way, he is enthusiastic about his own small projects in game development, hardware-handicraft, digital art, gaming and music. Email: aakash (at) revyuh (dot) com

The U.S. Senate on this Saturday approved a stimulus bill of $ 1.9 trillion to alleviate the economic devastation caused by the pandemic, which marks the first legislative victory of US President Joe Biden.

The bailout package, the third approved in the United States since the pandemic began a year ago, includes new $1,400 direct payments to taxpayers with incomes less than $80,000 annually, as well as funds for local and state governments, vaccines, and reopening of schools.

By 50 votes in favor and 49 against, the Senate gave the green light by a narrow margin to the so-called American Rescue Plan, which the House of Representatives approved a week ago.

“This bill will give more help to more people than anything the federal government has done for decades,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said before the vote.

But as expected, the provision on increasing the minimum wage to $ 15 per hour by 2025 was excluded from the bill.

After the vote, the head of state thanked the Senate for passing the bill. He promised that more than 85 percent of American households “will receive direct payments of $ 1,400 per person”, for individuals earning less than $75,000 per year, and phased-out amounts for people with higher incomes and married couple, who have been filling a combined income tax will also receive $1,400 if there their combined income is below $150,000.

Children and adult dependents would also be eligible for the full $1,400 check. Those adult dependents, including disabled and college students, weren’t eligible for the first two rounds of checks.

The package also includes tens of billions of dollars to speed up the vaccine rollout, allocating $8.75 billion to local, state, federal, state, and tribal public-health agencies for distributing, administering and tracking vaccinations.

The package will also help in vaccine development, with around $20 billion going to fed biomedical research for vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing and procurement, along with around $3 billion for a strategic national stockpile of vaccines. Another $25 billion would be spent on testing, contact tracing and reimbursing hospitals for lost revenue related to the pandemic.

Child Tax Credit would be raised to $3,000 from the $2000, set the credit at $3,600 for parents of children under age 6, and make parents of 17-year-olds eligible. It would also make the credit fully refundable, so low-income households would get the full benefit, no matter how little they earn. For a household with a 4-year-old and 7-year-old that doesn’t earn enough to pay income taxes, the plan would boost their maximum child tax credit to $6,600 from $2,800.

The bill also include $130 billion in funds for K-12 schools to help schools to accommodate social distancing, improving ventilation, hiring more janitors and providing more personal protective equipment.

The package also extends support with $350 billion to state and local governments to enable them to balance their budgets and have also set aside $10 billion for infrastructure projects.

The bill will now have to pass a final vote in the House of Representatives to approve the changes that have been made in the Senate and then it will be sent to the White House for Biden to sign, probably in the middle or end of next week.

This is the first legislative victory of the Biden presidency, which has made it its top priority to relieve the effects of the pandemic and has had the support of the Democratic majority in the Senate, who voted in favor of the bill.

Strong Republican opposition

The Republican opposition, on the other hand, criticized this bailout as “excessively costly” and believed it was too early to approve, as funding from the stimulus-driven plan in December is still being disbursed.

“The Senate has never spent nearly two trillion dollars more randomly,” Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell complained.

Although the Senate is divided equally into 50 Democratic and 50 Republican seats, this time Vice President Kamala Harris did not need to break any ties in her capacity as Speaker of the Upper House, as a Conservative senator, Dan Sullivan, was absent for personal reasons.

The vote came after a marathon session that began Friday morning and, after a long pause, dragged throughout Saturday night and all morning, due to attempts by Republicans and some Democrats to add amendments to the draft.

This is the third bailout of the economy approved by the U.S. Congress since the covid-19 crisis began, following the $900 billion that Congress pushed in December and the $2.2 trillion endorsed in March 2020, which was the largest in the country’s history.

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