Senate passes $1.9trn stimulus bill, set for the House final approval

*The United States Senate has passed a version of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus bill, setting the stage for final approval by the House of Representatives

*About 90 percent American households would receive a payment of $1,400, but some other income category of consumers will not get the payments

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Members of the US Senate worked over the weekend to pass a version of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus bill.

Because of changes made in the Senate, the measure returns to the House for a final vote as early as Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

It would then go to the White House for President Biden’s signature, says agency report.

The measure passed by the Senate is largely the same bill approved by the House but with some important differences.

Americans would still receive a payment of $1,400, but the payments would be phased out at lower income levels. Single people earning less than $75,000 a year will get the full $1,400 payment, as well as married couples earning less than $150,000.

Children in these households will also receive the same $1,400 payment. It’s estimated that the payments will go to about 90 percent of U.S. households.

However, who won’t get the payments? The payments decrease sharply when incomes rise above those levels and disappear if an individual earns more than $80,000 or a couple earns more than a combined $160,000.

Moderate Democrats pushed for those income levels, which are significantly lower than in the House version.

They also flexed their muscles in scaling down the unemployment benefits contained in the House version.

The House version of the bill extends enhanced unemployment benefits of $400 a week to August, but the Senate bill lowers the amount to $300 a week. At the same time, it extends the time period for the extra benefits to September.

While all unemployment benefits are taxable income, the Senate bill contains a provision that makes the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits nontaxable for households earning less than $150,000.

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