Special Inspector General For Pandemic Recovery
The legislation also requires oversight by a separate Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery who will monitor loans and investments from a $500 billion corporate bailout fund established by the legislation. A provision in the legislation empowers the special inspector general to audit the use of the fund requires the Treasury Department and other executive-branch entities to provide information to the special inspector general and directs the special inspector general to report to Congress “without delay” if an agency unreasonably withholds requested information. The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee will coordinate the work of the SIGPR.
Amidst reports that Trump would nominate White House lawyer Brian Miller for this job, Montana Senator Jon Tester and Utah Senator Mitt Romney drafted a letter to the president requesting a different, independent Special Inspector General. Miller was confirmed by the Senate on June 2.
Tax Rebates Tax Credits And Tax Deductions
- Provides credits against the 2020 personal income tax for eligible individuals. These advance payments will be sent to people in April 2020. Eligibility for the advance payments will be based on the person’s income tax return for 2019, or 2018 if the return for 2019 has not been filed yet. Individuals who are not required to file an income tax return but are eligible for the advance payment may register through the Internal Revenue Service’s web site. Eligible individuals who receive social security benefit payments will generally receive payments without registering. The payments are not, contrary to common misconception considered taxable income.
- $2,400 to each married couple filing jointly or $1,200 to each other individual, and
- $500 for each dependent who is a qualifying child under age 17 as of December 31, 2020.
- Payment amounts are reduced for each married couple filing jointly whose adjusted gross income is between $150,001 and $198,000. Payments are reduced for a head of household whose adjusted gross income is between $112,501 and $146,500. Payments are reduced for each other individual whose adjusted gross income is between $75,001 and $99,000.
- An individual is not eligible if he can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. An individual is also not eligible if he is a nonresident alien.
Was The Passage Bipartisan
No. The vote split along party lines at 50-49. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, missed the votes to attend his father-in-laws funeral.
The Senate has never spent $2 trillion in a more haphazard way, said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Of Democrats, Their top priority wasnt pandemic relief. It was their Washington wish list.
Democrats want the bill to become law by mid-March when a federal boost to unemployment benefits expires.
“Its been a long day, a long night, a long year, But a new day has come,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. We tell the American people ‘help is on the way.’ “
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President Biden Announces American Rescue Plan
Emergency Legislative Package to Fund Vaccinations, Provide Immediate, Direct Relief to Families Bearing the Brunt of the COVID-19 Crisis, and Support Struggling Communities
The COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis are devastating families across the country. More than 20 million Americans have contracted COVID-19, and at least 370,000 have died. From big cities to small towns, too many Americans are barely scraping by, or not scraping by at all. And the pandemic has shined a light on the persistence of racial injustice in our healthcare system and our economy. The need to act is clear in the lines at food banks, the small businesses that are closed or closing, and the growing number of Americans experiencing housing insecurity. After nearly a year of the public health crisis, our nation remains in this dark winter of the pandemic and facing a deep economic crisis.
President Biden is laying out the first step of an aggressive, two-step plan for rescue, from the depths of this crisis, and recovery, by investing in America, creating millions of additional good-paying jobs, combatting the climate crisis, advancing racial equity, and building back better than before.
As last months jobs report underscored, the virus and our economy are intertwined. We cannot rescue our economy without containing this virus.
Progressives Show Patience With Biden At Least Until Relief Bill Passes
Democrats were under pressure to get the bill to Biden’s desk before current federal unemployment benefits expire on March 14.
The budget reconciliation process allowed them to act without Republican backing, requiring only a simple majority to pass the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., signaled Tuesday that Democrats had the support they needed to move forward with the vote. But debate on the Senate floor was delayed when Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., indicated Wednesday that he’d require Senate clerks to read the more than 600 page bill on the floor, pushing the vote by several hours.
“We need to highlight the abuse,” Johnson said in a tweet. “This is not a COVID relief bill. It’s a boondoggle for Democrats.”
I’m going to make the Senate clerk read the Democrats $1.9 trillion bill. All several hundred pages of it.Then Im going to offer amendments. Many amendments.We need to highlight the abuse.This is not a COVID relief bill.It’s a boondoggle for Democrats.
Senator Ron Johnson
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday accused the Biden administration of trying to “jam” Republicans on the legislation.
“It is my hope that in the end Senate Republicans will unanimously oppose it, just like House Republicans did,” McConnell said to reporters.
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Third Round Of Economic Impact Payments Continues
Each week we’re sending the third round of Economic Impact Payments and the related 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit to eligible individuals as people continue to file income tax returns and returns are processed. If you haven’t received a payment yet, it doesn’t mean you won’t.
Ongoing payments will be sent to eligible individuals for whom the IRS previously did not have information to issue a payment but who recently filed a tax return, as well to people who qualify for “plus-up” payments. Get more information in the Questions and Answers about the Third Economic Impact Payment.
Check when and how your payment was sent with the Get My Payment tool.
Education Dept Will Stop Collections On Student Borrowers In Default
Students who are forced to drop out: Students who drop out of school as a result of the coronavirus wouldn’t have that time away from school deducted from their lifetime limits on subsidized loan and Pell Grant eligibility. Those students would also not be asked to pay back any grants or other aid they’ve already received.
Other programs: There is a very long list of other areas receiving funding including arts programs, universities and other institutions.
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Keep Your Practice Open
Clear and decisive steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 are needed to protect staff and ease patients’ fears about seeking care during pandemic.
The AMA was neutral on the measure, which contains appropriations without offsetting spending cuts andwithout further congressional actionwould trigger some automatic federal budget reductions including up to a 4% slash in physician Medicare payments. This would be on top of the 2% reductions in Medicare payments from the previous budget sequester that had been temporarily stopped but will resume April 1 unless Congress takes action.
The legislation also failed to address COVID-19 related liability protections that are necessary. The AMA has advocated safe harbors for physicians faced with suboptimal treatment arrangements, guidelines and protocols, patient surges and postponement of elective procedures. The AMA supports the bipartisan Coronavirus Provider Protection Act, which includes these provisions while exempting willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or a conscious flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of a patient.
Here are some of the top health care-related provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that doctors should know about.
To help fight the pandemic, the law:
To expand access to care, the law:
To boost public health, the law:
Make Sure Your Familys Basic Needs Are Met
Assess your financial needs over the coming several months and prioritize necessary expenses. If possible, use your tax refund and Economic Impact Payments for food, medicines, and other items for your familys well-being, such as:
- Medical care
- Caregiving for children or other family members.
- Telephone and internet to help you stay in contact
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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.
Child Tax Credit And Childcare Services
The bill considers an expanded child tax credit of up to $3,000 per child, or $3,600 for each child under the age of six. The IRS will pay part of this in monthly installments of $250 or $300 from July through December, adding a benefits distributor role to the revenue collection agencys responsibilities .
This one-year expansion would represent near $109 billion as reported by Reuters here , or 5.7%. The bill also includes about $55 billion to be spent on childcare programs and $1 billion for the early learning Head Start program .
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Assistance For State Local And Tribal Governments
The COVID-19 public health crisis and resulting economic crisis have put state, local, and Tribal governments under unprecedented strain. The Treasury Department is providing needed relief to state, local, and Tribal governments to enable them to continue to support the public health response and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable economic recovery.
Republicans Who Assailed Bidens Stimulus Bill Are Embracing The Money
Republican governors who criticized the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill as wasteful are championing state projects funded by the money.
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WASHINGTON At her annual budget address this month, Gov. Kristi Noem, Republican of South Dakota, blamed President Bidens economic policies for rising prices, derided the giant handout of federal stimulus funds and suggested that she had considered refusing the money over ideological objections.
But like many Republican officials, Ms. Noem has found it hard to say no to her states share of the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief aid that Democrats passed along party lines in March.
Ms. Noem explained to fellow legislators how critical those federal funds were to South Dakota and outlined how she would use some of the nearly $1 billion slated for her state to invest in local water projects, make housing more affordable and build new day care centers. For those questioning her choice to take the money, Ms. Noem, who has opposed Covid restrictions including shutdowns and mask mandates, said any pandemic-relief funds she rejected would have just gone to other states.
I think youd have to acknowledge that we got the short end of the stick compared to these other states, Mr. DeSantis said.
A spokesman for Mr. Ducey did not respond to a request for comment.
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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.
Congress Passes The Bill
On the evening of December 21 the votes were held, with large, bipartisan majorities supporting them. The bill was split into two parts in the House, with one portion passing 32785 and another portion 35953. The first vote, which included funding for federal agencies, was opposed by 41 Democrats and 43 Republicans. The stimulus portion was in the latter vote, and was supported by Democrats by a 2302 margin and Republicans by a 12850 margin . Following that, there was a single vote in the Senate, which passed 926.
Also on the night of December 21, Trump signed a weeklong stopgap bill through December 28, avoiding a shutdown while the 5,593-page legislation was being processed. It was the biggest bill ever passed by Congress in terms of length of text. On December 24, Congress began the official process of sending the bill to Trump.
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The Paycheck Protection Program
The CARES Act establishes a $350 billion loan program for small businesses that keep their businesses running and payrolls steady through the crisis. If the employer continues to pay its workers for the duration of the crisis, these loans will be forgiven. The company would only have to pay back the interest accrued.
But you donât need to have employees in order to qualify.
The program is available to:
- Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees or fall within the SBAâs size standards
- Restaurant, hotel, or business that falls within the North American Industry Classification System code 72, âAccommodation and Food Services,â and each location has 500 or fewer employees
- Tribal businesses
- Independently owned franchises with less than 500 employees
- Sole proprietors, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and self-employed individuals
The loans will be administered by banks and other lenders, so check with your bank or credit union to see what theyâre offering. The American Banking Association is also keeping a running list of programs being made available by banks around the country.
Businesses can receive loans up to $10 million, based on how much the company paid its employees between January 1 and February 29. The loans will carry an interest rate of up to 4%. The bill also provides for an expedited origination process.
Further reading:The Paycheck Protection Program
What Else Is In The Relief Bill
- Sends $350 billion to state and local governments whose revenues have declined because of COVID-19.
- Allocates $130 billion to help fully reopen schools and colleges.
- Allots $30 billion to help renters and landlords weather economic losses.
- Devotes $50 billion for small-business assistance.
- Dedicates $160 billion for vaccine development, distribution and related needs.
- Expands the child tax credit up to $3,600 per child.
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House Passes $19 Trillion Covid Relief Bill
Asked Tuesday whether the package would be the final relief bill needed, Pelosi told reporters, Youre just going to have to ask the virus if it stops mutating, if it stops spreading and therefore mutating, then this will be.
What is interesting about this virus is that it is resourceful,” she added. “It mutates. It has variants. And so too must we be resourceful and resilient in how we deal with it. We will be on top of it.
But in a major disappointment to progressives, a provision to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour was removed after the Senate parliamentarian said it violated the rules for the process of bypassing the 60-vote threshold. It also faced some Democratic defections.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., promised Wednesday that the Covid relief package will make “a big difference” in the lives of Americans, and quickly.
“It does so much good for so many people. And one of our missions is to show people that government can actually make their lives better,” he said.
The vote on final passage comes after weeks of negotiations between the White House and lawmakers, which involved Republicans’ trying to slow the process and some hiccups that arose within the Democratic caucus when Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia considered teaming up with Republicans to upend an intraparty deal involving jobless benefits.
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House Covid Relief Bill Includes Critical Expansions Of Child Tax Credit And Eitc
Two key tax credit provisions in the COVID relief legislation that the House passed February 27 would provide significant help to those on the fault lines of some of the pandemics worst economic effects. People who have lower incomes, are Black or Latino, have less than a college education, or work in face-to-face service occupations have long faced barriers to high-paying jobs and opportunity, which the pandemic and its economic fallout have widened. The House bills provisions making the full Child Tax Credit available to all children except those with the highest incomes , and making an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit available to far more low-paid workers not raising children in the home , would result in historic reductions of child poverty and provide timely income support for millions of people, including millions of essential workers.
“The House bills provisions would result in historic reductions of child poverty and provide timely income support for millions of people, including millions of essential workers.”
The two tax credit expansions, in legislation that the House approved February 27, would do much to alleviate these harmful effects. They would: