On Wednesday, Congress gave final approval to President Biden’s stimulus package, which is expected to be signed this Friday. Known as the American Rescue Plan, the package amounts to almost $1.9 billion, making it one of the largest injections of federal aid since the Great Depression.
Aside from the $1,400 direct payments, the package is expected to boost the distribution of vaccines and provide relief for schools, state governments and small businesses.
Per the New York Times: “The measure will provide $350 billion for state, local and tribal governments and $10 billion for critical state infrastructure projects; $14 billion for the distribution of a vaccine, and $130 billion to primary and secondary schools. The bill also includes $30 billion for transit agencies, $45 billion in rental, utility and mortgage assistance, and billions more for small businesses and live performance venues.”
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Aside from all of these changes and improvements, the relief bill hopes to slash poverty by a third and possibly cut child poverty in half, expanding on tax credits, unemployment benefits, food aid and rental and mortgage assistance. Despite the long road that the bill has faced, being heavily contested amongst Democrats and Republicans, according to the Pew Research Center, about 70% of Americans support for the bill.
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The $1,400 checks will be sent to individuals who made $80,000 or less in 2019, single parents who made no more than $120,000, and couples who topped out at $160,000. People could receive their paychecks within days of the bill’s signing. But according to House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who commended the Senate and House for working together:
“We were a seamless web and we worked together. We say to America: Help is on the way. You will receive $1,400 checks by the end of March.”