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Updated on August 15, 2022 3:16 am
All countries
Updated on August 15, 2022 3:16 am
All countries
Updated on August 15, 2022 3:16 am

Global Statistics

All countries
Updated on August 15, 2022 3:16 am
All countries
Updated on August 15, 2022 3:16 am
All countries
Updated on August 15, 2022 3:16 am
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What Is In The Covid Relief Bill

What Is The Fight Over The Covid Relief Bill All About

What does the Coronavirus Relief Bill mean for Georgia?

Trump is attempting to undermine a Democrat-Republican consensus, which could lead to another government shutdown and deprive millions of Americans of much-needed aid.

  • Larry Beinhart is a novelist, best known for Wag the Dog.

On December 21, the United States Senate finally passed a pandemic relief bill. The most attention-grabbing part of this legislation is the direct payments of $600 to almost every American.

A day later President Donald Trump got on TV and called it a disgrace.

Its called the COVID Relief Bill but it has almost nothing to do with COVID, he declared, adding that Congress should immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000.

It was a shock. He had never said anything remotely like that before.

So what happens next? Will he veto the bill, just as he vetoed the military spending bill on December 23?

As he so often does, Trump has latched on to a piece of reality then joyfully spun it into a huge misrepresentation. It is correct that the bill which passed on December 21 is constantly described as the COVID Relief Bill, but it is actually not.

It is actually part of an omnibus spending bill a large package of smaller spending bills called the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to HR 133 and subtitled the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

What should we expect?

Retirement Plans And Retirement Accounts

  • Waives the 10% tax penalty for early distributions from IRAs, 401 plans, 403 plans, and 457 plans if:
  • The individual, their spouse, or their dependent has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • The individual experienced adverse financial consequences because they were quarantined, furloughed, or laid off, or because their employer reduced their working hours or
  • The individual experienced adverse financial consequences because the individual is unable to work due to lack of child care.
  • A plan administrator is allowed to rely on the participant’s assertion that one of these events occurred.
  • Distributions are still subject to income taxes, although the individual may choose to spread the payment of the income taxes over three years, rather than paying them all in one year. Alternatively, if the distributed amount is repaid into any , see ) IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan within three years of receiving the early distribution, no income taxes will be due.
  • Increases the maximum amount of a 401 loan from an employer-sponsored 401 retirement plan. The limit used to be the lesser of $50,000 or 50% of the participant’s vested assets. It has been changed to the lesser of $100,000 or 100% of the participant’s vested assets.
  • All changes to the rules regarding loans and early distributions are at the option of the plan administrator and are not required to be adopted.
  • Bill Has Faced Backlash

    The sweeping COVID-19 relief bill has been criticized by Republicans for an array of earmarks that stray far from the stated purpose of the bill.

    PolitiFact rated “Mostly True” a claim from conservative Stand for America that the bill contains unrelated projects. Examples cited in that fact check included a $1.5 million bridge connecting New York and Canada a $100 million underground rail project in Silicon Valley $480 million for Native American language preservation and maintenance and $50 million in environmental justice grants. The bill would also raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and change pension funding rules.

    All told, about 15% of the proposal goes to long-standing policy priorities that are not directly related to the current crisis, said the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization formed to educate the public on federal budget issues.

    But thats a far cry from the claim here about little money going to Americans.

    The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget analysis identified $10 billion from the bill as going to foreign affairs. Thats about one-half of 1% of the total.

    The bungled 9% figure may have been a misunderstanding of the money tied to direct COVID-19 intervention.

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    What’s In The $19 Trillion House Covid Relief Bill

    The House of Representatives is currently in the process of considering the next COVID relief bill. Nine of the 12 House committees have approved legislation. Below, we summarize the major elements of the $1.9 trillion plan.

    This legislation is largely similar to President Biden’s “American Rescue Plan.” It contains a third round of stimulus checks, extension of enhanced unemployment benefits, additional tax credits for families and workers, funding for K-12 education, and support for state and local governments. Smaller, but-significant, expenditures include funds for COVID testing and vaccines, grants to small businesses, support for child care providers, assistance for colleges, and rental and homelessness assistance.

    A few differences exist: the House plan shortens the unemployment extension by one month and adds grants to multiemployer pensions. It also earmarks some of the small business aid for restaurants, provides grants to airlines and airports, and contains more targeted expansions to Medicaid, but does not contain cybersecurity funding.

    *The total removes $14 billion from COBRA subsidies and funding for LIHEAP that are shared between two committees and would be double-counted if summing each committee’s total.


    Biden Celebrates Senate Bills Passage

    Whats Up With the Latest COVID Relief Bill?

    President Biden on Saturday celebrated Senates passage of the $1.9 trillion Covid relief package. It wasn’t always pretty. But it was so desperately needed, urgently needed.

    He added, This nation has suffered too much for much too long, and everything in this package is designed to relieve the suffering and to meet the most urgent needs of the nation and put us in a better position to prevail.

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spiked the football, too. Everyone knows, especially with 50 votes, we all have to pull together. Everyone knows. You know I have a leadership team that meets on Monday nights, and it has lifted Warren and Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin and Mark Warner and people in between. And that’s because we all have to we have to talk to each other, realize we need each other. And that is the secret to the success here, every person realizing that we needed every other person to have this victory.

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    A Fourth Stimulus Check Is Unlikely

    All of the tacit and explicit support for stimulus checks keeps the possibility alive. The support doesnt make a fourth payment likely, however. And there are many reasons why.

    Vaccinations are progressing steadily, albeit not as quickly as in the spring. Adults and those at least 12 years old are eligible to be inoculated in all 50 states. Three different options are available to the public, with the Pfizer vaccine fully approved by the FDA. Booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine have also been approved and rolled out for those at risk or over 65. Actually putting needles in arms is taking time, even with supply readily available. Americans have received over 413 million doses, with 66.4 percent of the population having received at least one dose and 57.4 percent completely vaccinated. Vaccination numbers continue to increase at a rate of about 800,000 doses per day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revised its guidance and recommends that vaccinated people in areas with higher COVID transmission revert to wearing masks indoors again.

    More negotiating seems inevitable before any bill gets passed into law. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised not to take up the infrastructure bill until the Senate also passes the human infrastructure bill. Democrats are already laying the groundwork to use reconciliation again to push through this legislation.

    Vaccines Funerals Farmers And Food

    The bill includes a funding surge to help put vaccine shots in Americans’ arms.

    It includes $14 billion to distribute and administer vaccinations, $48 billion for testing and contact tracing and $50 billion for Federal Emergency Management Agency relief. As part of the FEMA aid, the government will cover costs of “disaster-related” funeral expenses connected to the pandemic.

    It includes loan assistance for “socially disadvantaged” farmers and ranchers who belong to groups that have faced ethnic or racial discrimination.

    And it extends a 15 percent boost in SNAP benefits, commonly known as food stamps, through the end of September.

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    Signed Into Law And Signing Statement

    A few hours after the House passed the bill, it was signed into law by President Trump.

    In a signing statement, Trump suggested he could gag the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery insofar as his constitutional powers as president enabled him to block the SIGPR’s reports to Congress. According to The New York Times, the statement was consistent with Trump’s “history of trying to keep damaging information acquired by an inspector general from reaching Congress”.

    Part of the CARES act set aside $8 billion to federally-recognized “tribal governments”. The Treasury Department earmarked about $500 million of those funds to go towards Alaska Native corporations , which provided similar governance as typical tribal leadership in the lower 48 states. Three native Indian tribes sued on the basis that under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 , ANCs were not federally-recognized tribal governments and should not be eligible for CARES funds. The case was eventually heard by the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in June 2021 that ANCs did qualify as tribal governments under the ISDA, and thus eligible to receive the set-aside funds.

    ‘treating This Like A Game’: Psaki Blasts Gop As Debt Ceiling Deadline Nears

    What you need to know about the coronavirus relief bill | The Washington Post

    President Donald Trump signed the massive $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and government funding bill into law Sunday night, averting a government shutdown that was set to begin on Tuesday, and extending billions of dollars in coronavirus aid to millions.

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    Student Grants Student Loans And Work

    • Creates a 14-billion-dollar higher education emergency relief fund to provide cash grants to college students for costs such as course materials, technology, food, housing, and child care. Each college will determine which of its students receive cash grants. This was divided into three pieces: $12.5 billion in formula funds, at least half of which must be given directly to students, $1 billion for institutions serving minorities, and $350 million in supplemental funds for small institutions with unmet needs. Though the Department of Education issued guidance that international and undocumented students are ineligible for these funds, this was challenged in a lawsuit.
    • Payments of student loan principal and interest of by an employer to either an employee or a lender is not taxable to the employee if paid between March 27, 2020, and December 31, 2020. The maximum amount that is tax-free is $5,250 per employee.
    • For college students in a federal work-study program, allows a school to continue to pay a student if the student is unable to fulfill their work-study obligation due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
    • Gives students and colleges flexibility regarding the requirements for federal student financial aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Suspends payments and accrual of interest on federal student loans through September 30, 2020. Suspends garnishments and tax refund interception related to federal student loans through September 30, 2020.

    Foreclosure And Eviction Moratorium

    • Sections 4022 and 4023 deal with mortgages, protecting those with federally-backed mortgages from foreclosure until at least August 31, 2020, and allowing the right to request a mortgage forbearance for up to 180 days. Section 4024 provides for a 120-day moratorium on eviction filings for rental units in properties that participate in federal assistance programs, or have a federally backed mortgage or multifamily mortgage loan. One estimate is that this eviction moratorium covers 28% of all rental units in the United States however, there are no enforcement mechanisms provided.

    Other pieces of legislation established an Emergency Rental Assistance program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 set aside $25 billion, while Section 3201 of the American Rescue Plan Act set aside an additional $21.5 billion. These were to be funded by the Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the CARES Act. However, by the summer of 2021, only $5.1 billion of the intended $46.5 billion had been distributed.

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    Stimulus Checks And Jobless Aid

    The bill includes the biggest round yet of direct cash payments: $1,400 for individuals making under $75,000 and $2,800 for married couples making under $150,000. The White House says they’ll begin hitting bank accounts “as early as this weekend.”

    Individuals making less than $80,000 or married couples making below $160,000 will get smaller checks. Parents who qualify for their own checks also will get an additional $1,400 per child.

    Those who are out of work will get a $300-a-week federal bonus to their unemployment benefits through Sept. 6.

    Support For A Fourth Stimulus Check

    McConnell Says Its Highly Likely That Next Coronavirus ...

    A group of Democratic Senators, including Ron Wyden of Oregon, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, sent a letter to President Joe Biden at the end of March requesting recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions.

    As the Senators reasoned in their letter, this crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions.

    An earlier letter to President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris from 53 Representatives, led by Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, carved out a similar position. Recurring direct payments until the economy recovers will help ensure that people can meet their basic needs, provide racially equitable solutions, and shorten the length of the recession.

    Additional co-signers included New Yorks Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Michigans Rashida Tlaib, two other notable names among House Progressives. The letter didnt place a number on the requested stimulus payments. But a tweet soon after put it at $2,000 per month for the length of the pandemic.

    $2,000 monthly payments until the pandemic is over.


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    What Other Benefits Are In The Bill

    There are some substantial ones.

    The bill expands two popular tax credits for parents. The existing federal child tax credit goes from $2,000 to $3,000 per child over age 5 $3,600 for younger children to all but the most affluent families in the 2021 tax year.

    It would make the credit fully refundable, meaning that families with little or no income would get the money as a refund, potentially in monthly installments. Currently millions of children dont get the full benefit of the credit because their families have too little income to take advantage of it.

    The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit also gets a boost up to $4,000 for the childcare expenses of one child, and up to $8,000 for two or more children.

    Theres also a provision that would expand help for people who buy health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act.

    Using a new California program as a model, it expands Obamacare subsidies for middle-income consumers who were left out of the original version of Obamacare. It would provide subsidies to households spending more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance, even if their incomes are higher than what previously qualified for subsidies.

    Do I Have To Pay Taxes On My Unemployment Benefits

    Some good news there. Usually unemployment compensation is taxable as income. Some states automatically take out the taxes. But other times, laid-off workers find themselves facing a big tax bill when they file their annual return.

    In a last-minute revision, the Senate made up to $10,200 in unemployment compensation tax-free for households with annual incomes under $150,000. If you qualify and did not already pay taxes on your unemployment, now you dont have to, for up to $10,200. If youve already filed your 2020 return and paid taxes on the unemployment benefits, you can file an amended return to get the money back.

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    Testing Tracing And Vaccine Distribution

    The bill includes $20 billion for procurement of vaccines, and $9 billion to the CDC and states for vaccine distribution. It also includes $22 billion sent directly to states for testing, tracing and mitigation programs.

    The bill did not include direct funding for state and local governments to use as they desire, which was a priority for Democrats. However, it also left out a liability shield for businesses and institutions, which was touted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Congress is likely to pick up both of these issues again in the new year.

    Funding For State And Local Governments And Public Schools

    Coronavirus relief bill is in sight

    The bill delivers a $350 billion cash infusion to state and local governments, and $130 billion to elementary, middle and high schools to help them re-open safely.

    Local budgets have faced steep declines in revenue as businesses remain shuttered during the pandemic. Last September, the Brookings Institute estimated that state and local revenues would by $155 billion in 2020, $167 billion in 2021 and $145 billion in 2022. The money for schools is designed to help them improve their ventilation systems, hire more janitors, and reduce class sizes to conform with social distancing protocols.

    Democrats argued that this money was necessary to save public sector jobs and enable teachers and students to return to classrooms without risking their health. Republicans said that the funding already allocated through last years relief bills was sufficient, and that sending more money to state and local governments was superfluous.

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