The Covid Stimulus Bill: What You Need to Know
What’s in Washington’s newly passed stimulus bill, how it affects you, and what the pundits are saying about it.
Read when you’ve got time to spare.
President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law on March 11, a sprawling stimulus package intended to address the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s a lot to unpack. The bill, which is more than twice the size of the 2009 stimulus package, is one of the most ambitious expansions of the U.S. social safety net in decades. The American Rescue Plan includes direct checks for most Americans, expanded unemployment and healthcare benefits, and aid for state and local governments.
So far, the bill enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support among the public
—with 70 percent overall approval among Americans, including 41 percent of Republican voters. Nevertheless, the American Rescue Plan passed along party-lines, with no Republicans in Congress voting for it. Republicans have criticized the bill as expensive and wasteful, arguing that many of its provisions are too poorly targeted. Many progressives were disappointed the final bill did not include a $15 minimum wage hike.
Here’s what you need to know about what’s in the American Rescue Plan, how it will affect you, and what it means for Washington during the Biden presidency.
What’s in the Bill?
Ledyard King and Javier ZarracinaUSA Today
Biden’s COVID-19 bill is more than just $1,400 stimulus checks. It also includes an expansion of Obamacare and billions to distribute the vaccine.
Rachel SiegelThe Washington Post
A rundown on child tax credits, aid to local governments, school support, housing assistance and more.
How Will it Affect Me?
Katie Lobosco and Sean O'KeyCNN
Roughly 90 percent of American households are eligible for aid. Use this calculator to see what you can expect to get.
Nick VadalaPhiladelphia Inquirer
Congress has passed the long-awaited $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package known as the American Rescue Plan Act. But what benefits are you eligible for? We broke it down.
Ron Lieber and Tara Siegel BernardThe New York Times
Personal finance reporters answer your questions.
What’s the Debate?
Eric LevitzNew York
The law could plausibly mark a leftward realignment in American policymaking, at least if Biden & Co. continue to govern in its spirit.
Robert P. O’QuinnNational Review
Never has such a massive policy as the president’s ‘stimulus’ package come at a time that is more inconsistent with economic reason.
Adam DavidsonThe New Yorker
When Joe Biden signed the COVID stimulus bill into law, he insured a better year ahead. But it will not dramatically ease inequality.
Stop obsessing about inflation and consider a more likely scenario.
Perry Bacon Jr.FiveThirtyEight
It’s only the second bill Biden has signed into law and likely to be one of the most significant. So let’s look at what we learned from the process of enacting this legislation.
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