The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the Senate's revised version of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, and it's headed to the president's desk for his signature.
The "American Rescue Plan," which was Biden's top legislative priority, passed the House for the second time Wednesday on a 220-211 vote (one DFLer voted no). Minnesota's delegation was split, with all the Democrats voting to approve it and all the Republicans voting against it.
The House had previously passed the massive relief package, but over the weekend the Senate passed an amended version of it on a 50-49 party-line vote (one Republican was absent, Minnesota's two DFL senators voted in favor of it) following a marathon 27-hour floor session, so the House had to pass the Senate version.
The legislation is one of the largest spending packages in U.S. history and aims to reduce the impact of the pandemic, boost the economy and help businesses and low-income families.
Biden is expected to sign the bill into law on Friday.
Here's some of what's in the package:
- Direct payments to people: $1,400 stimulus payments for individuals making up to $75,000 and couples making $150,000 (payments could come as soon as a few days after Biden signs the bill into law, Politico says).
- Extension of the federal unemployment insurance payments: weekly $300 unemployment insurance payments are extended until Sept. 6.
- A temporary increase in the child tax credit: Families with kids up to age 5 will get $3,600 and families with kids ages 6-17 will get up to $3,000, with eligible families getting payments of up to $300 per child per month from July through the end of the year.
- Money for schools: $128.6 billion in grants for state educational agencies to help reopen K-12 schools and $39 billion in grants to higher education institutions.
- Support for low-income families: $19 billion in emergency rental assistance, including $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers for people experiencing homelessness, survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking victims; $4.5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help families with heating and cooling costs; $1.4 billion for programs authorized under the Older Americans Act; and $37 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for low-income seniors
- Support for businesses: $25 billion will go to help restaurants; $30 billion for transit costs (payroll, personal protective equipment); and $8 billion for airports.
- Money to help curtail the pandemic: $46 billion for COVID-19 testing and tracing; $5.2 billion to support vaccine research and development.
- Paycheck Protection Program: $7.25 billion for PPP loans.
- Local funding: $250 billion will go to cities and states and $20 billion for tribal governments in the U.S. Minnesota is expected to get $4.72 billion ($2.6 billion would go to the state government, while $2.1 billion will go to local governments, MinnPost notes).
Analysis by USA Today shows that of the funding going to local governments in Minnesota, Hennepin County will receive $245 million, Ramsey County $107 million, Faribault County $2.6 million and Crow Wing County $12.6 million. (see other counties here).
Missing from the bill is a $15 minimum wage hike, which was removed from the bill after a Senate Parliamentarian ruled it had to be a standalone bill or part of other legislation, CNBC said.