Congressional leaders on Monday reached a deal on a $900 billion COVID-19 economic relief package that includes $600 direct payments to Americans and $300 in enhanced unemployment for the next 10 weeks.
The $600 checks will only go out to individuals making less than $75,000 a year or couples making less than $150,000. Similar to the CARES Act, individuals making between $75,000 and $100,000 will receive gradually smaller payments while individuals making $100,000 or more will not receive a stimulus check. The treasury secretary may get these checks out as early as next week.
The measure will help jobless workers by adding 11 weeks to the unemployment programs that are now set to expire by the end of December. The Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), which had provided $600 a week to jobless workers until it expired in July, will be renewed with weekly benefits of $300.
The deal includes more than $284 billion more in loans for businesses struggling to pay rent and workers, vaccine distribution funds, and $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools. It also includes the Democrats’ priority of $25 billion in rental assistance and an extension of the eviction moratorium.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the bill is a good step, but Penn Wharton Budget Model Director of Policy Analysis Richard Prisinzano says it’s worth looking at what has happened to American families in the time since Congress passed the last aid bill almost nine months ago.