Direct payments, state and local government aid and pandemic jobless-benefit boosts make up more than $1 trillion of package
The House Budget Committee approved Monday a $1.92 trillion bill to carry out President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan, the first step toward likely House passage by the end of the week.
The vote was 19-16. Texas Democrat Rep. Lloyd Doggett voted with Republicans in opposition to the bill but a spokeswoman for him later said he had cast his vote in error and supported the legislation.
The bill will go next to the House Rules Committee, where it could be changed, before hitting the House floor late in the week.
As a spinoff bill from the fiscal 2021 budget resolution, it will be immune to the filibuster in the Senate and can pass with 50 Democratic votes and that of Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker.
Here are the some of the biggest provisions and how much the Congressional Budget Office expects them to cost in outlays or reduced revenues, or both, over 10 years:
Direct payments to households: Similar to previous rounds of $1,200 and $600, these payments would be $1,400 per tax filer ($2,800 for couples) and $1,400 per eligible dependent. The payments would start phasing out at an individual income of $75,000, with eligibility based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns. Price tag: $422.3 billion.
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Aid to state, local and tribal governments: This would provide money for states and local governments, as well as tribal governments, to offset tax-collection losses and increased spending resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Price tag: $350 billion.
Pandemic-related unemployment benefit provisions: Three pandemic-related unemployment assistance programs — a $400-a-week federal add-on to benefit checks, extended federal benefits for those who have exhausted state benefits and a program for jobless benefits for gig-economy workers — would be extended. Price tag: $245.8 billion.
Aid to help reopen schools: The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund would provide money to schools to help with reopening and making them safer to attend. Price tag: $128.6 billion.
Child tax credit expansion: The existing child tax credit of $2,000 per child would be enlarged for one year to $3,000 ($3,600 for children under 6) and made refundable, meaning tax filers would still get the money even if the credit is larger than their tax bill. It would be phased out starting at $75,000 for individual filers and the Treasury Secretary would be directed to send advance payments monthly starting in July. Price tag: $109.2 billion.
Multiemployer pension plan aid: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Program would be able to give grants to underfunded pension plans guaranteed by the PBGC. The PBGC revolving fund to help pay full benefits when pensions fall short is set to be exhausted in 2027 under current law. Price tag: $81.5 billion.
Minimum-wage increase: The bill would boost the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $9.50 and gradually to $15 in 2025. Price tag: $45.4 billion.
FEMA: The Federal Emergency Management Administration would get money to help it respond to major disasters and cover coronavirus-related funeral expenses. Price tag: $47 billion.
Coronavirus testing: The bill would provide money for increased detection, diagnosis and monitoring of coronavirus infections and money for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for genomic sequencing and disease surveillance. Price tag: $48.5 billion.
Aid for metro transit systems: The Federal Transit Administration would be able to give grants to transit agencies to help them pay for operating expenses and maintain their payrolls. Price tag: $27.9 billion.