Congress is on the verge of passing the next Coronavirus Relief bill and a large Omnibus Spending bill after months of gridlock. The two bills come in at $2.3 trillion, with $900 billion in Coronavirus Relief, and $1.4 trillion to cover typical federal expenses for everything from taxes, energy, education and health care. The final bill will be a two-in-one package, and is expected to be over 3,000 pages. The full text has not yet been published. Congress is expected to vote on the final bill today, and President Trump is expected to sign it into law by the end of the week. Here’s what we know so far:
- Restarts supplemental federal unemployment benefits. However this time around the additional benefits will be $300 per week, not $600 per week. The supplemental benefits will be in effect through March 14th. So-called “gig-economy” workers, such as those who work for companies like Uber and Door Dash, will be eligible for pandemic benefits.
- One-time, direct payments of $600 will be made to individuals earning up to $75,000 per year. Couples who earn up to $150,000 per year are eligible. One-time $600 payments will be made for every dependent child. Payments will be phased out for individuals with higher incomes, similar to the last direct payment.
- The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will receive more funding: $284 billion. Some businesses that received previous PPP grants will be eligible for another round. While exact details are not known, it appears that this round of PPP funding will be targeted towards specific industries and/or borrowers who can demonstrate a significant revenue loss due to the pandemic. The proposed legislation will also ensure that PPP funds are not taxed, a big relief to borrowers.
- The bill funds miscellaneous other programs, including more funding for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, supplemental funding for schools affected by the pandemic, rental assistance (to be distributed by state and local governments), increases aid for many food and farm programs, and provides grants to families struggling with child care costs.
The Omnibus Appropriations package contains too many measures to break down here, but we will cover relevant legislation after the bill is finalized and the full text becomes available. Of particular interest are a ban on “surprise” medical billing, and many tax break extensions. If passed in its current form, the Omnibus Bill would fund the federal government through September 30, 2021.
Stay tuned for more as new developments occur.