WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is expected to pass a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package late Friday that includes $1,400 checks for most Americans and billions of dollars for schools, state and local governments and businesses.
The Democrats’ goal is to have COVID-19 relief approved by mid-March, when extra unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid expires.
The legislation provides a rebate that amounts to $1,400 for a single taxpayer, or $2,800 for a married couple that files jointly, plus $1,400 per dependent.
The legislation would send $350 billion to state and local governments and tribal governments.
Spending for colleges and universities would be boosted by $40 billion, with the money used to defray an institution’s pandemic-related expenses and to provide emergency aid to students to cover expenses such as food and housing and computer equipment.
The bill provides another round of relief for airlines and eligible contractors, $15 billion, so long as they refrain from furloughing workers or cutting pay through September.
The bill also provides another $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, a tiny fraction of what was allocated in previous legislation.
The bill provides money for key elements of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response, while also trying to advance longstanding Democratic priorities like increasing coverage under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.
The bill provides $46 billion to expand federal, state and local testing for COVID-19 and to enhance contract tracing capabilities with new investments to expand laboratory capacity and set up mobile testing units.
The bill would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by June 2025 and then adjust it to increase at the same rate as median hourly wages
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had projected the new federal minimum wage would lift some 900,000 people out of poverty once it was fully in place