Americans are eagerly waiting for the third round of stimulus checks. There is no clear information on when Congress would approve the next stimulus package. Last week, however, Democrats took one step forward in getting the bill approved. A House of Representatives committee, on Friday, introduced the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks, that Democrats hope to pass next week.
On Friday, the House Budget Committee came up with the 591-page bill that not only provides stimulus checks but also funding for coronavirus vaccines and other medical equipment. Now, the House Budget Committee is scheduled to meet on Monday to consider amendments, if any, to the bill before sending it to the full House for discussion and approval.
The primary objective of the stimulus package is to stimulate the economy, which has been struggling over the past year or so. In a nutshell, the proposed stimulus package provides stimulus checks, aid to state and local governments, funding for coronavirus vaccines, extended federal unemployment benefits and more.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expects to vote on the bill in the Democratic-controlled chamber by the end of this week. In the Senate, which is equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, the bill would pass before March 14, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. The federal unemployment benefits are set to expire from March 14.
About 11.4 million workers are estimated to lose unemployment benefits between mid-March and mid-April unless Congress approves the next stimulus package. The House bill, if passed, would extend the unemployment benefit through August 29 to $400, from the current $300.
What does the $1.9 trillion bill propose?
The $1.9 trillion House bill includes several proposals, including a controversial provision to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15 by 2025. Republicans are against the wage hike, and so are at least two moderate Senate Democrats.
This $1.9 trillion House bill is more or less the same as was proposed by Biden last month. Similar to Biden’s proposal, the House bill proposes giving direct payments of up to $1,400 per person. This means a family of four could get up to $5,600.
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Individuals with an income of less than $75,000 (and married couples with AGI of less than $150,000) would qualify for the full stimulus check amount. This time, however, fewer people would qualify for the payment because the payments would phase out faster.
Unlike the last two rounds, this time adult dependents would qualify for the payment. The stimulus check amount would be based on the 2019 or 2020 income.
Along with the stimulus checks and unemployment benefits, the House bill also proposes to extend the 15% increase in food stamp benefits through September. The increased food stamp benefit is set to expire at the end of June.