American rescue plan
President Biden will sign the American Rescue Plan on Friday, after all nearly all Democrats and zero Republicans passed the $1.88 trillion COVID-19 relief and stimulus bill. Unlike the previous rounds of COVID-19 support, most of this bill — 54 percent — goes to households, most notably via $1,400 checks for most Americans.
Here's a more sober look at what's inside the ARP:
- State and local governments: $350 billion. "These funds, initially proposed to plug COVID-19-created holes in public budgets," can also be spent "on improving services such as water, sewage, and broadband," The Atlantic reports.
- Child Tax Credit expansion: $3,000 to $3,600 per child. The IRS will send these payments out "periodically" over one year to parents earning up to $75,000, $150,000 filing jointly, and $112,000 for single heads of household.
- Rental and housing assistance: $21.5 billion.
- Public transportation: $30.5 billion. "COVID has really decimated transit ridership, and that has eaten a huge hole in agencies' budgets," TransitCenter's Ben Fried tells The Atlantic.
- K-12 schools: $125 billion for reopening, plus $1.25 billion for summer enrichment, $1.25 billion billion for after-school programs, and $3 billion for education technology.
- Colleges and universities: $39.6 billion, split roughly between emergency financial aid for students and financial support for the institutions.
- Tax increases: $60 billion. While most of the legislation is focused on cutting taxes ($590 billion), Democrats included three arcane tax hikes on the rich and large corporations to keep the bill within the $1.9 trillion price range, Politico reports.
- Non-chain restaurants: $28.6 billion. Debt-free grants to independent restaurants with 20 or fewer locations.
- Farmers and food supply: $10.4 billion, including $5 billion to Black and other disadvantaged farmers.
- Affordable Care Act expansion: $62 billion. More than half will go toward subsidizing ACA premiums, with the rest going to Medicaid enticements — including to expand maternal care — and COBRA subsidies.
- Live music venues: $1.25 billion, added to the $15 billion already approved.
- Rural health care: $500 million.
- Public libraries: $200 million, distributed through the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
- Arts and cultural institutions: $270 million.