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Second stimulus package passes Congress, goes to Trump for signature

After months and months, both the Senate and House have finally passed a combined omnibus spending bill and coronavirus relief package, and they have sent it on to President Trump for his signature. Trump has said he will sign the bill, so it is thought to be all but a formality that this bill is now law.

The massive $900 billion stimulus package includes $600 stimulus checks for each adult with a social security number, as well as $600 for each dependent child under the age of 17 years old. Adult dependents are not eligible, as well as those with ITIN numbers (such as immigrants paying taxes, but who are not eligible for a social security number). Also, income limits do apply, so only those making less than $75,000 individually or $150,000 as a couple filing jointly will be eligible for the full amount. After those stated amounts, the amounts quickly dwindle or phase-out to zero. That said, an individual making $87,000 or a couple filing jointly making $174,000 will not see any stimulus payment.

Both sides of the aisle have stated that if more stimulus is needed, they will do more stimulus in 2021. As for the stimulus money at hand, though, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has said direct deposits could be made on or before December 31st, while paper checks will begin as soon as the President signs the bill until January 15th, 2021 at a rate of ten million per week.

There is still a lot to unpack from the massive 5,593-page document. What is not in this bill includes two important provisions, which are seen as likely the basis for yet another stimulus package in early-2021, namely: (1.) liability protections for businesses, and (2.) direct aid to state and local governments. Both topics were fiercely debated with a large divide between the two sides, but ultimately left for more argument and negotiation in the future.

Beyond the direct stimulus payments to individuals, though, a $300 boost in unemployment for eleven weeks is also included. Retroactive pay is not included though, so December 27th will be the start date with no otherwise standard one-week waiting period.

Lots and lots of other projects and issues are funded with this bill, including money for additional EIDL and PPP loans to businesses, vaccine purchases and distribution (a/k/a free vaccinations), rental (and utility) assistance, Pell grant expansion for college students, as well as $1.4 billion earmarked for the border wall.

Along with stimulus, this legislation also included an omnibus spending package to keep the government open. It was nice to see a 3% pay raise for the military included in this portion.

Again, this legislation is a huge bill consisting of nearly 5,600 pages. We will continue to unpack details from the document, as we sort through the massiveness of this pandemic relief effort.

Featured photo by Pixabay from Pexels

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