Relief may be coming for millions of Americans after the Senate and House of Representatives took a major step forward by approving a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 package that includes a third round of stimulus checks.
President Joe Biden has proposed sending $1,400 to every person who received stimulus checks during the first two rounds of payments, though it could be weeks until money starts showing up in bank accounts.
The approvals by Congress will now lead to a “reconciliation” process in which congressional committees will draft a bill based on Biden’s sweeping proposal.
Every adult taxpayer earning up to $75,000 a year would receive their $1,400 check. The amount would gradually decrease for people earning more than that, and those making more than $95,000 would get nothing.
The amount doubles for married couples who file their taxes jointly.
Others potentially eligible include adults who can be claimed as dependents on other people’s income tax returns, such as college students or elderly people being cared for by their adult children.
Unlike previous bills, Biden has also proposed expanding the eligibility to “mixed-status households” which includes families that have one adult with a green card while others lack legal immigration status.
The third stimulus is in addition to the $600 checks Congress approved in December, bringing the total to $2,000, a figure Democrats had previously called for before getting rebuffed by the previous Republican-controlled Senate.
With the stimulus package passed in the Senate, it now awaits a vote from the Congress, likely before March. On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that they will begin writing legislation to create a final path for Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” so it can be completed by the end of the month.
“As we all know, a budget is a statement of our values,” she wrote in a letter to her colleagues. “Our work to crush the coronavirus and deliver relief to the American people is urgent and of the highest priority. With this budget resolution, we have taken a giant step to save lives and livelihoods.
“Next week, we will be writing the legislation to create a path to final passage for the Biden American Rescue Plan, so that we can finish our work before the end of February.”
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