Congressional Update: House Passes COVID Relief Package, Minimum Wage Hike

Early Saturday morning, the U.S. House passed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID/economic relief bill– a.k.a. American Rescue Plan– on a party-line vote, Democrats supporting.  Read more here.

            The House version contained an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15, but that was only a nod to the importance of the issue for Democrats, because the U.S. Senate parliamentarian has already ruled a minimum wage increase cannot be included in the final aid package.  Read more here.

But the job is only half done; the U.S. Senate has to vote yet.

Below are notable provisions in the House legislation, however, not all of these provisions will survive the Senate’s strict budget reconciliation parameters.

— Direct payments worth up to $1,400 per person.

— Extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs.

— Extension of the 15 percent increase in food stamp benefits through September, instead of allowing it to expire at the end of June.

— $880 million for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

— Extension of the employee retention tax credit through December 31, 2021.

— Extension of tax credits for employer-provided paid sick and family leave through September 30th.

— $4.5 billion for LIHEAP

— $19.1 billion to state and local governments to help low-income households cover back rent and utility bills.

— Expansion of the child tax credit to $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children under age 18.

— $15 billion to the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan program.

— An additional $7 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program.

— $350 billion to state and local governments, as well as tribes and territories.

Read summary of contents here.

TAP HERE for all articles in March 1 EXPRESS Update