March 4 – The federal government is in the process of passing a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, the majority of which may not even be needed in terms of emerging statistics from state and local governments.
The bill passed the US House of Representatives last Saturday and now goes to the Senate, which supposition suggests will be split right down the middle when it comes to votes.
As it stands now, the bill includes:
- Payments of $1,400 to most individuals, along with the same amount for each dependent. Checks start to phase out at $75,000 in income and go to zero for individuals making $100,000
- A $400 per week unemployment supplement through Aug. 29, along with an extension of programs making millions more people eligible for jobless benefits
- An expansion of the child tax credit to give families up to $3,600 per child over a year
- $20 billion for Covid-19 vaccine distribution and $50 billion for testing and tracing efforts
- $350 billion in state, local and tribal government relief
- $25 billion for assistance in covering rent payments
- $170 billion for K-12 schools and higher education institutions to cover reopening costs and aid to students
- A $15 per hour federal minimum wage, which the Senate parliamentarian will not allow in the reconciliation bill on the other side of the Capitol
There are some major sticking points there which may get tossed out in order to get the bill passed, including the minimum wage price tag, but the spotlight and time clock is now at the Senate’s doorstep.
Attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen of the Big Talk on 103.7FM discussed the issue today.
“It’s shocking that only two democrats opposed that unbelievably horrendous $1.9 trillion bill,” Jansen pointed out. “Out of all those Congress people only two.”
“It’s not needed,” Ryan added. “There are plenty of jobs. Let us all get back to work. Get out of our way. Instead they want to have you on the teat. We have states that have pretty full coffers.”
Indeed statistics are now showing that local and state tax revenue didn’t take as big a hit as people thought it would during COVID. In many states, the revenue is about even and in some, their revenue is actually farther ahead.
“But yet there’s this narrative out there that there needs to be all this federal money to bail out state and local government,” Barkdoll said. “When you really dig into the numbers, the revenue didn’t take the decline that people thought it would. That’s $350 billion alone of this legislation.”
The eligibility for receiving stimulus checks has seen some reforms, too. Previously, a single person making $100,000 a year would receive the $1,400 check. Now that threshold has dropped to $75,000.
Any changes made by the Senate will bump the bill back to the House and with a margin of just about 50-50 in the Senate, any last-minute alterations could sway the vote either way.
Even with the clock ticking, the final result of the bill is very much still up in the air. Call your lawmakers and let them hear you!
MAKE THE CALL
Senate members to contact for opposition to the 1.9T Covid19 Relief Bill, the Equality Act, The Police Reform Bill, and the HR1 For The People Act
To all Democrats tell them to vote NO on rules change to Filibuster rule (need of 60 votes to end debate)
PA Senator Pat Toomey R
D.C. Phone: 202-224-4254
PA Phone: 717-782-3951
Contact Form: www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=contact
PA Senator Bob Casey D
Phone: D.C. 202-224-6324
Phone: PA 717-231-7540
Contact Form: www.casey.senate.gov/contact/
WV Senator Joe Manchin D D.C. 202-224-3954 Charleston 304-342-5855 Martinsburg 304-264-4626 Twitter @Sen_JoeManchin Contact form: https://www.manchin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form
WV Senator Shelley Moore Capito R D.C. 202-224-6472 Charleston 304-347-5372 Martinsburg 304-262-9285 Twitter @SenCapito
Contact form: https://www.capito.senate.gov/contact/contact-shelley
MD Senators (even if you know they will vote for – they still need to hear from their constituents especially) MD Senator Benjamin Cardin D D.C. 202-224-4524 Baltimore 410-962-4436 Cumberland 301-777-2957
Twitter @SenatorCardin Contact form: https://www.cardin.senate.gov/contact/email-ben
MD Senator Christopher Van Hollen, Jr. D D.C. 202-224-4654 Baltimore 667-212-4610 Hagerstown 301-797-2826
twitter @ChrisVanHollen Contact form: https://www.vanhollen.senate.gov/content/contact-senator