On Monday the House of Representatives voted to increase the amount of the stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000.
Putting the price tag of pandemic relief package well over a trillion dollars. In signing the relief bill Sunday, the President called on Congress to add the additional money to the stimulus checks. The vote was 275-134.
Forty-four Republicans voted with Democrats. Arizona Congressman Greg Stanton, who voted for the $2,000 payments, said, “We’re going to do the right thing as it relates to small business. We’re going to make the right vote tonight as it relates to the stimulus payments.”
The measure now moves onto the Senate where success is uncertain.
Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida have both expressed support for the $2,000 payments. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky controls the legislation and he has not said what he will do.
The pandemic relief package includes $284 billion dollars in aid to small business. The payroll protection plan is back. This time there is money to keep theaters and concert venues from going under.
“It’s going to help tens of thousands of small businesses around the country,” Stanton said. “60% of the money has to be used for payroll. So this is really geared at helping people keep their jobs.”
Whether it’s $600 or $2,000 if your reported income in 2019 was $75,000 or less you will be eligible for the one-time stimulus payment.
Couples who report an adjusted gross income up to $150,000 will also receive a one-time payment of either $1,200 or $4,000.
This time couples earning $174,000 or the head of a household who earns more than $124,500 won’t get a second stimulus check.
Those with a dependent child under the age of 17 will receive a one-time check of $600. That is actually $100 more than the first time.
But college students who are still listed as dependents will not be eligible for a stimulus check. Nor will anyone without a social security number.
So if you are classified as a non-resident alien you are out of luck this time.
If you have direct deposit with the IRS, you could see the money showing up in your bank account within a few days.
Additional financial help is also on the way for people who have lost their jobs. Beginning the week of January 3 an additional $300 dollars a week will be added in federal unemployment insurance. That program will run for 11 weeks.
Congress also set aside aid for education, rental assistance the environment and COVID-19 assistance. “This relief package has resources to make sure the vaccine can be disseminated as swiftly as possible,” Congressman Stanton said. “It’s going to be free to every person.”