Highlights: What's changed in the Senate's COVID relief bill




  • In Politics
  • 2021-03-05 00:13:18Z
  • By Associated Press
 

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democrats on Thursday came out with their version of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. A look at some of the major changes in the bill now being considered by the Senate versus what passed the House last week.

WHO GETS A CHECK

President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have agreed to tighten eligibility for the $1,400 payments.

Under the House bill, the cash payment would phase out for singles with incomes between $75,000 and $100,00. But under the Senate bill, the phaseout stops at $80,000.

Under the House bill, the cash payment for married couples phased out between $150,000 and $200,000. But under the Senate bill, the phaseout stops at $160,000.

Most Americans will still be getting the full amount under either bill. The median household income was $68,703 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Roughly 8 million fewer households will get a check under the Senate bill compared with what the House passed, according to an analysis from the Tax Policy Center.

$15 MINIMUM WAGE REMOVED

The Senate bill does not include an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled that the minimum wage increase violated strict budget rules limiting what can be included in a package that can be passed with 51 votes rather than the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster.

MONEY FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

The Senate bill also provides $350 billion for state and local governments but adds the stipulation that the money can only cover costs incurred by the end of 2024. The Senate bill also prohibits states from using the money to offset tax cuts, nor can it be used to shore up a pension fund. The bill also requires that small states get at least the amount they received under virus legislation that Congress passed last March. Lawmakers are looking to focus the money on covering costs and revenue shortfalls arising from the pandemic.

MORE MONEY FOR HOSPITALS

Hospital trade groups lobbied senators to tack on more money for hospitals to help maintain sufficient staffing and purchase personal protective equipment while caring for large numbers of critically ill patients.

The Senate bill adds $8.5 billion for rural providers for COVID-19 relief.

HEALTH INSURANCE HELP

Workers who lose their job can remain on their company's health plan for up to 18 months under a law known as COBRA, but they typically must pay the full monthly premium.

The House bill temporarily subsidized 85% of the insurance premiums, which can be expensive. The Senate bill will include a 100% subsidy of COBRA health insurance premiums to ensure that the laid-off workers can remain on their employer health plans at no cost through the end of September.

OTHER WINNERS

Amtrak would get an additional $200 million on top of the $1.5 billion in the House bill. There's also an additional $510 million for homeless services under the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $175 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. All COVID-19 student loan relief would be tax-free.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Tax breaks for Facebook, Amazon and Google? Beshear vetoes bill meant to lure data centers
Tax breaks for Facebook, Amazon and Google? Beshear vetoes bill meant to lure data centers

Before lawmakers give away millions in state funds, they need a more thoughtful discussion, governor says.

Democrats confront fragile majorities as Congress returns with big plans
Democrats confront fragile majorities as Congress returns with big plans

The party's narrowing margins in Congress will test its ability to stay unified to pass Biden's sweeping infrastructure proposal.

With Warning to Democrats, Manchin Points the Way for Biden
With Warning to Democrats, Manchin Points the Way for Biden's Agenda

WASHINGTON - Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., flashed a warning sign for President Joe Biden's infrastructure ambitions this week, renewing his pleas for fellow...

Could You Start Getting Monthly Stimulus Payments? Elizabeth Warren and More Prominent Dems Push Biden to Offer Regular Relief
Could You Start Getting Monthly Stimulus Payments? Elizabeth Warren and More Prominent Dems Push Biden to Offer Regular Relief

A group of 21 Senate Democrats is asking the White House to continue stimulus payments to Americans as part of a larger recovery strategy. CNBC reports the...

Senate filibuster
Senate filibuster's racist past fuels arguments for its end

Once obscure, the Senate filibuster is coming under fresh scrutiny not only because of the enormous power it gives a single senator to halt President Joe...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Politics