Here Is What's In The COVID-19 Relief Package

Dec 21, 2020
Originally published on December 30, 2020 10:15 am

Updated on Dec. 30 at 11:15 a.m. ET

President Trump has signed a major legislative package that includes coronavirus relief and government spending for the next fiscal year.

Just after Congress passed the bill last week — and shortly before Christmas — the president called the measure a "disgrace," in part for not having high enough direct payments to Americans, a move his own party had been against.

Nevertheless, Trump signed the package on Sunday, urging Congress to do more separately.

Here are the highlights of what is in COVID-19 relief package that is now law, including $600 relief checks for many Americans, an assortment of aid for small businesses and money to purchase and distribute vaccines:

Individual benefits

  • $600 direct payment checks for every adult and child earning up to $75,000. Individuals earning between $75,000 and $87,000 would get smaller checks, and the benefit cuts out entirely for individuals earning over $87,000.
  • Unemployment benefits: Lawmakers agreed to extend enhanced unemployment benefits for jobless workers, who will receive up to $300 per week through mid-March. Self-employed people and gig workers will also receive extended assistance.
  • Rental assistance: The measure includes $25 billion to help families pay their rent, and it extends the eviction moratorium now in effect until Jan. 31.
  • SNAP assistance: The measure includes an additional $13 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Small-business help

  • PPP loans: The agreement includes some $284 billion for Paycheck Protection Program loans. Democrats say they expanded eligibility for the loans to include nonprofits and local newspapers, along with TV and radio stations. Also, $15 billion would be reserved for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions, which have been struggling due to pandemic-forced closures.
  • Child care centers: The measure includes $10 billion for child care centers to help providers safely reopen.

Vaccines

  • The agreement includes some $68 billion to purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines and help states conduct testing — $20 billion of that funding will make the vaccine available at no cost for anybody needing it.

Broadband access

  • The measure contains $7 billion to increase access to broadband Internet, including a new Emergency Broadband Benefit that Democrats say will help millions of students' families and unemployed workers afford the broadband they need during the pandemic.

Transportation aid

Lawmakers also agreed to provide $45 billion in transportation-related assistance, including:

  • $16 billion for airlines to pay the salaries of workers and contractors.
  • $14 billion for mass transit agencies.
  • $10 billion for highways.
  • $1 billion for Amtrak.

Education

  • The measure contains $82 billion in funding for schools and universities to assist with reopening, including, $2.75 billion for private K-12 education.

Agriculture

  • There is some $13 billion in the measure for farmers and agriculture, including money under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for growers and livestock, dairy and poultry producers.

Medical bills

  • The measure also includes a provision ending surprise medical billing. Republicans say patients would be required to receive a "true and honest cost estimate" three days before any scheduled procedure and that billing disputes would be subject to arbitration.

Tax-deductible meals

  • Lawmakers also included a provision sought by Trump, making the cost of meals a deductible business expense.

Read the bill in full.

This story was originally published on Dec. 21.

: 12/29/20

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that direct payments end for individuals earning over ,000. In fact, payments end for individuals earning over ,000.

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