Senate passes American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

A week after the House passed their version of the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, the U.S. Senate has approved their own legislation for the coronavirus relief bill.

It will now be sent back for House approval, and then to its final destination — President Biden’s desk. Both actions are expected to happen this upcoming week.

Some significant changes have been made to the bill; most notably, the removal of a $15 an hour minimum wage hike. Even though the pay raise was part of the House bill, this action was expected after Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that the policy cannot be part of Senate budgeting talks.

The Senate also lowered income qualification for individual stimulus payments, which makes it so 12 million fewer Americans will receive a check than the last two payments.

Another change was for those receiving unemployment benefits. Unemployment payments have been reduced from $400 per week to $300 per week, and the benefits will be extended through September 6. Under the House bill, the benefits would have stopped on August 29.

The House is expected to pass the stimulus bill one final time on Wednesday, with President Biden signing it into law by this weekend.

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