Third Stimulus Check Update: The Senate approved a spending bill with payments of $ 1,400. Here’s what’s in the law.
President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed its final test on Saturday when the US Senate voted across parties to amend the legislation and then send it back to the US House to ratify the changes.
If the House makes no further changes, the bill will go to Biden for his signature. Otherwise, the Senate would get another chance with the bill. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Said his chamber would consider the amended measure on Tuesday.
The Senate version has some differences of the House bills by handing out stimulus checks and providing additional UI payments, while avoiding surprise tax bills for those who receive UI or whose student loans are canceled. Nor does the Senate bill raise the issue of federal minimum wage at $ 15 an hour, which would match New Jersey’s level.
Biden rejected the differences between the two bills.
“Bernie Sanders said this was the most progressive bill he has ever seen passed since he’s been here,” Biden told reporters in the White House. “And the compromises were all compromises that did not affect the substance and the essence of what the bill is.”
“The end result is essentially the same. And so, I don’t think any of the compromises fundamentally altered the essence of what I put in the bill in the first place.
Here are some of the highlights of the legislation passed by the Senate, according to U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker:
Stimulation controls. Like the bill passed by the House, people earning up to $ 75,000 would receive a check for $ 1,400 and couples earning up to $ 150,000 would receive $ 2,800. Adult and child dependents would receive $ 1,400.
But in the Senate version, the checks are phasing out and ending for people earning over $ 80,000 and couples earning over $ 160,000. The Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, a progressive research group, said the lower income limit could impact up to 400,000 New Jersey residents.
Unauthorized immigrants would not be eligible for payments, but spouses and children who are legal would.
Unemployment insurance. The Senate maintained the current additional unemployment benefits of $ 300 until September 6 from the current expiration date of March 14. The House proposed to increase payments to $ 400 until August 29.
In addition, the first $ 10,200 in unemployment insurance payments would be exempt from federal income tax for those earning less than $ 150,000. New Jersey do not tax unemployment benefits.
State and local aid. The stimulus package provides $ 350 billion in a formula that helps all levels of government, unlike the CARES Law from last year that excluded certain rural communities because they were not eligible under a decades-old formula for the distribution of certain federal aid.
According to the Senate formula, New Jersey would receive about $ 9.3 billion, including $ 6.4 billion for the state and $ 2.9 billion for counties and municipalities.
“Our state and local governments have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19,” Menendez said. “They have been bleeding their resources for over a year as costs have skyrocketed and revenues have plummeted. As a result, they have borne the brunt of the economic pain and are in desperate need of help. “
Small enterprises. There is $ 25 billion for restaurants and bars, and $ 1.25 billion for concert halls and entertainment venues.
The Paycheck Protection Program would get an additional $ 7.25 billion for forgivable loans, and the Employee Retention Tax Credit, which provides up to $ 14,000 per employee maintained on the payroll. payroll, would be extended until the end of 2021.
Public transport. The bill includes $ 30.5 billion for public transportation agencies such as New Jersey Transit, including $ 1.5 billion in capital grants, with the program helping to fund the new portal bridge and could be used for the Gateway tunnel.
Amtrak would receive $ 1.7 billion for Amtrak, including $ 970 million for the northeast corridor. There is also $ 15 billion for workers in the airline industry and $ 8 billion for airport operations.
Fight poverty. The child tax credit would be increased to $ 3,600 for each child under the age of 6 and to $ 3,000 for children between the ages of 6 and 17, lifting 89,000 families out of the state out of poverty. The funds could be distributed monthly rather than once a year.
That would benefit 1.6 million children in New Jersey, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive research group.
Another 354,000 New Jersey workers without children would benefit from an expanded income tax credit, the center said.
Booker said the expansions “would lift millions of children out of poverty, put more money in the pockets of working Americans and help middle-class families across the country.”
School help. Districts would receive around $ 129 billion to cover the costs of reopening their elementary and secondary schools, such as improving ventilation, reducing class sizes and purchasing personal protective equipment.
Colleges would receive nearly $ 40 billion, at least half of which would go to federal emergency student aid.
Lodging. The bill provides more than $ 400 million in rent assistance to the state. According to the Center on Budgetary and Policy Priorities, 396,000 New Jersey tenants are behind in their payments and 2 million are having difficulty paying their usual household expenses.
The legislation also includes $ 4.5 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps low-income residents pay their winter heating bills, and $ 500 million for a new program to help pay water bills.
Nutritional programs. The special nutrition program for women, infants and children would receive $ 880 million and the 15% increase in the supplementary nutrition assistance program, better known as food stamps, would be extended until September 30.
According to the Budget and Policy Center, there were 735,000 New Jerseyans on SNAP in July 2020, up from 661,000 in February 2020 when the pandemic began.
And more than half a million adults in New Jersey have said their households don’t have enough to eat.
Student loan forgiveness. Students would no longer have to pay taxes on loans canceled by the federal government or private lenders. More than 43 million Americans today have $ 1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt.
The provision would cover the period from December 31, 2020 to January 1, 2026.
Fight the coronavirus. The Senate bill includes $ 14 billion for vaccines, $ 49 billion for coronavirus testing and tracing, including new variants, and $ 7.6 billion to hire 100,000 public health workers to immunize Americans and support efforts to end the pandemic.
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