CoronavirusCovid-19PoliticsStacy M. Brown

Biden Signs $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Plan Into Law

One day after the House formally passed the American Rescue Plan — Joe Biden’s massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package — the president signed the monumental legislation into law.

The president was scheduled to sign the bill Friday, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the legislation arrived a day early and the commander in chief wasted no time adding his signature.

Vice President Kamala Harris plans to join Biden at the White House on Friday to celebrate the sweeping legislation.

“We want to move as fast as possible,” said White House chief of staff Ron Klain. “We will hold our celebration of the signing on Friday, as planned, with congressional leaders.”

Stimulus payments of $1,400 will go out to single tax filers making $75,000 or less. Married couples who file jointly and earn $150,000 or less will receive $2,800.

Families will also receive $1,400 per child, and adult children claimed as dependents would also receive $1,400. Unlike previous stimulus payments, single tax filers making at least $80,000 and married couples earning more than $160,000, will not receive a check.

It is also important to know that the IRS will determine eligibility based on either a 2019 or 2020 tax return. For those who have not filed their 2020 taxes, the government will use their 2019 return.

Individuals who may have lost their jobs or whose incomes decreased in 2020 should file as soon as possible. Otherwise, the IRS will use their 2019 tax return.

Like the previous stimulus, recipients will not have to pay taxes on the payments.

Those who owe child support or student debt to the federal government are protected from garnishment.

However, lawmakers did not make provisions to protect anyone from garnishment who might have private debt.

The bill allows for the first $10,200 of unemployment payments tax-free, and those who receive food stamps will see a 15 percent increase in those benefits through September.

Families whose children’s schools have remained closed are also in line to receive EBT benefits through the summer.

The legislation sends $350 billion to state and local governments, including $20 billion to help low-income households cover back rent and utility bills, and $14 billion for vaccine research, development and distribution.

It also contains a provision that allows families with minor children to claim a more considerable tax credit this year.

Those who qualify would receive a child tax credit of $3,600 for each child younger than 6.

Families will also receive $3,000 for each under age 18, up from the current credit of up to $2,000 per child younger than 17.

Food stamp recipients will receive a 15 percent increase through September, and $15 billion will go to the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan Program, which provides long-term, low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration.

Severely affected small businesses with fewer than 10 workers will receive priority for some of the money. Additionally, more people will qualify for higher premium subsidies through the Affordable Care Act while $8.5 billion is earmarked for rural hospitals and health care providers.

Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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