Every line item in the bill will need to be “carried out” by a federal agency. When that happens we will be able to give you more specific information on how each item will “work” or be distributed.
Summary of American Rescue Act
• Direct checks of $1,400 for individuals earning up to $75,000 per year and couples earning up to $150,000 per year. The payments fully phase out for individuals making more than $80,000 per year and couples making more than $160,000 per year.
• $350 billion for states and localities.
• Extension of federal unemployment benefits, with $300 added to weekly jobless checks until Sept. 6.
• $10,200 tax exclusion for unemployment compensation for households earning less than $150,000 per year. This means that if you received $10,200 in unemployment (or more) you will not need to claim this as income, which also means it is not considered income if you are purchasing health insurance on the State Health Insurance Exchange.
• More than $125 billion for K-12 schools.
• $86 billion rescue package for 185 multi-employer pension plans (most of these are union and industry pensions) that are close to insolvency and cover about 10.7 million workers.
• $60 billion for coronavirus testing and vaccine distribution and procurement.
• Extension of a 15% increase in SNAP benefits (food stamps) through September.
• More than $30 billion for transit agencies.
• $28.6 billion for restaurants through a new grant program.
• More than $21 billion in emergency rental assistance and more than $9 billion for mortgage and utility assistance.
• $15 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grants for small businesses.
• $10 billion to expand domestic production of personal protective equipment, vaccines and medical supplies.
• Increase in the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 and an increase to $3,600 for children under the age of 6.
• $39 billion for child care, including almost $24 billion for stabilization grants and nearly $15 billion for the child care and development block grant program.
• $35 billion for health insurance premium subsidies for people who buy health insurance on Obamacare exchanges. Waives the 400% federal poverty level cap on eligibility for the subsidies.
• $3.9 billion to increase availability of mental health and substance abuse treatment.
• $800 million to buy U.S.-grown food products for distribution to developing countries.
• $270 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.
• $200 million for libraries through the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
• $200 million for “worker protection enforcement activities” through the Department of Labor.
• $175 million for public broadcasting.
• $100 million for air quality and pollution mitigation efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency.
• $50 million for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to combat consumer-product-related injury or death.
• $30.4 million for Federal Trade Commission efforts to combat COVID-19-related scams.
More specific information on some of the summary items above:
State and Local Municipal Aid:
- Included in the Senate bill is an amendment that makes forgiven student loan debt tax-free, should Biden or Congress decide to cancel any debt.
- Reduction of reporting requirement (1099-K) for third party settlement organizations (e.g. PayPal) threshold from over $20,000 and 200 transactions to over $600 and no minimum number of transaction. This is expected to impact gig workers, independent contractors, casual eBay sellers, among others. This amendment is projected to generate $8.4 billion over the next decade
- Earned Income Tax Credit: Raises the maximum Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for adults without children from $543 to $1,502. It would also lower the age eligibility for the childless EITC from 25 to 19 and eliminate the upper age limit, which currently bars the credit for childless people age 65 and older. Other changes include eliminating a rule that bars individuals who have children without Social Security numbers from claiming the childless EITC and allowing individuals who are separated from their spouses to claim the EITC on a separate return if they live with their child for more than half of the year.
- Child Tax Credit: Increases the Child Tax Credit maximum amount to $3,000 per child and $3,600 for children under age 6. It would also extend the credit to 17-year-olds. The increase in the maximum amount would begin to phase out at $150,000 in income for married couples, $112,500 for heads of households and $75,000 for other parents. Other changes to the Child Tax Credit include making it fully refundable, meaning the entire credit could be provided as a refund if it exceeds an individual’s income tax liability, instead of partially refundable under current law.
- Dependent Care: Temporarily increases the value of the child and dependent care tax credit, which currently covers 35% of care expenses up to $3,000 for one dependent or $6,000 for two or more dependents. The measure would make the credit refundable, increases the maximum allowable expenses to $8,000 for one dependent and $16,000 for two or more, and allows the credit to cover 50% of expenses.
- Employee Retention Credit: Extends the employee retention credit established by the CARES Act through Dec. 31, 2021. The measure also would expand eligibility for the credit to new startups that were established after Feb. 15, 2020, and companies if their revenue declined by 90% compared to the same calendar quarter of the previous year. The credit would be capped at $50,000 per calendar quarter for startups.
- Paid Leave Credits: Extends tax credits for employer-provided paid sick and family leave established under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act through Sept. 30, 2021. The measure would also increase the wages covered by the paid family leave credit to $12,000 per worker, from $10,000; cover as many as 60 days of paid family leave for self-employed individuals, instead of 50; and bar employers from receiving credits if their paid leave favors highly compensated employees, full-time workers, or employees based on tenure.
- Makes state and local governments eligible for the FFCRA paid leave reimbursable tax credit.
- Due to budget reconciliation rules the reimbursable tax credit will not be retroactive (for state and local governments) prior to FFCRA becoming law, and the effective date begins after March 31, 2021.
COVID Related Funding:
- $50 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for vaccine distribution and assistance.
- $47.8 billion on COVID-19 testing, mitigation, and transmission prevention, including diagnosis, tracing, and monitoring.
- $13.48 billion for Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare programs through September 30, 2023.
- $10 billion under the Defense Production Act for personal protective equipment and other medical gear, and for response to pathogens that could become future public health emergencies.
- $7.66 billion for workforce programs for state, local, and territorial public health departments and certain nonprofits, including funds to hire and train “case investigators, contact tracers, social support specialists, community health workers, public health nurses, disease intervention specialists, epidemiologists, program managers, laboratory personnel, informaticians, communication and policy experts, and any other positions as may be required to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.”
- $7.6 billion to community health centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers to combat COVID-19, including promotion, distribution, and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine; COVID-19 tracing and mitigation; COVID-19-related equipment; and COVID-19 outreach and education.
- $7.5 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, administration, and tracking, including preparation of community vaccination centers and mobile vaccine units and acceleration of vaccine deployment. The bill funds 100,000 public health workers for vaccination outreach and contact tracing.
- $6.05 billion for “expenses related to research, development, manufacturing, production and purchase of vaccines”.
- $5.4 billion to the Indian Health Services.
- $3.5 billion in block grants to states, evenly split between the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant program and the Substance Abuse Prevention Treatment Block Grant program.
- $1.75 billion for genomic sequencing, analytics, and disease surveillance.
- $1 billion to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for vaccine confidence programs to increase vaccination rates.
- Approximately $750 million on global health security to fight COVID-19 and other emerging infectious diseases.
- $500 million to the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate vaccine performance and facilitate vaccine oversight and manufacturing.
- $330 million for teaching health centers with graduate medical education programs.
- $500 million to the CDC for public health surveillance and analytics, including a modernization of the U.S. disease warning system to predict COVID-19 “hot spots” and emerging public health threats.
- $200 million for nursing loan repayment programs.
- $100 million for the Medical Reserve Corps.
- $100 million for a Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program.
- $80 million for mental and behavioral health training.
- $4 billion (39% of total agricultural expenditures) and $1 billion (9.7% of total agricultural expenditures) goes to debt forgiveness and outreach/support, respectively, for socially disadvantaged farmers. Experts identified the relief bill as the most important legislation for African-American farmers since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, benefiting many who were not fully compensated by the Pigford settlements.
- $3.6 billion (35%) is dedicated to supporting the food supply chain, including purchasing food and agricultural commodities; making grants and loans for small to mid-size processors; seafood processing facilities; farmers markets, producers and other organizations responding to COVID; providing assistance to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency; and making payments for expenses related to crop losses pursuant to the Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus.
- $300 million is dedicated to the surveillance and monitoring of animals susceptible to COVID-19 transmission.
- $100 million is dedicated to reducing the amount of overtime meat, poultry and egg inspection costs at small establishments.
- $800 million (7.7% of total agricultural expenditures) for Food for Peace. During fiscal year 2018, the Food for Peace program provided U.S. food-in-kind, procured local food supplies, provided food vouchers and made cash transfers to more than 76 million beneficiaries in 59 countries.
- $500 million (4.8% of total agricultural expenditures) for USDA-administered Emergency Rural Development Grants for Rural Healthcare.
- Appropriates funds as may be necessary for loan modifications and payments to farmers and ranchers, who are members of groups that have been socially disadvantaged in the USDA programs. The department could pay as much as 120% of each such farmer’s or rancher’s debt on loans it made or guaranteed.
Technology and Cybersecurity:
- Creates a $7.2 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund to reimburse schools and libraries for internet access and connected devices.
- Includes wi-fi hotspots, modems, routers, devices that combine a modem and router, connected devices.
- Provides $650 million for cybersecurity risk mitigation at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is leading the federal response to the SolarWinds Corp. breach of government networks.
- Provides $1 billion for the Technology Modernization Fund.
- Provides $200 million for the U.S. Digital Service.
- Provides $150 million to the National Institute of Standards and Technology to fund awards for research, development, and testbeds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
- Provides $175 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
- Includes fiscal stabilization grants to public telecommunications entities to maintain programming and services and preserve small and rural stations threatened by declines in non-federal revenues