New Federal COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation on the Horizon

On February 4, the Senate passed a budget resolution instructing committees to draft a COVID-19 stimulus package. If the House approves of the budget resolution, committees will have until February 16 to pull together the bill – with leadership aiming to get the relief legislation onto President Biden's desk by March 14. This $1.9 trillion stimulus package is expected to align with President Biden’s COVID-19 plan.


The budget reconciliation process is underway on the House side, including markups done last week by various House panels, including the House Ways and Means committee, which pushed forward the majority of the bill.


If the bill passes the House, it would then go to the Senate, where it would face a more complicated process, including amendments, which would send it back to the House for another vote. Democrats aim to pass the whole package by mid-March, when the increased unemployment benefit expires.


Provisions include:

  • Renewal of the Paycheck Protection Program for small-business loans.

  • A $350 million increase in Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) funding

  • $350 billion to help state and local governments

  • $714 million for K-12 schools — requiring schools to outline a reopening and student recovery plan in the process

  • $618 million for public health, including $438 million for testing and contact tracing and $68 million for vaccines.

  • An extension of a $400-a-week boost to federal unemployment benefits through the end of August

  • Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit

  • Expansion of subsidies under the Affordable Care Act for health insurance

  • An increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025