Senate Passes Historic COVID Relief Package For Working People

On March 6, the Senate passed President Biden’s coronavirus relief package and Senator Sherrod Brown was at the forefront standing strong for working people, those in need and our local communities.  Republican Senators, who gave a near $2 trillion tax cut to the wealthy just a few years ago, did not provide a single vote for this needed relief bill, showing whose side they are truly on.

The legislation includes direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans, a $300 weekly boost to jobless benefits into September, support for pension plans and an expansion of the child tax credit for one year. It also puts new funding into Covid-19 vaccine distribution and testing, rental assistance for struggling households and K-12 schools for reopening costs.

“This nation has suffered too much for much too long,” President Joe Biden said. Biden also estimated the direct payments of up to $1,400, which will also go to dependents of eligible Americans, will start to come in this month.

Here are some highlights of what is in the bill:

Unemployment benefits:
The package extends the existing $300 weekly unemployment benefit through Sept. 6, as well as provide a tax break on $10,000 in unemployment benefits.

Stimulus checks:
The Senate bill would send $1,400 stimulus checks on top of the $600 payments issued through the stimulus bill passed in December. Roughly $400 billion of the package would go toward another round of checks.

Multi-employer pension measures:
Under this bill, money to assist eligible plans would come directly from the U.S. Treasury Department in the form of grants which would not need to be repaid. Plan participants would receive 100 percent of their earned pension benefits.

Aid to state and local governments:
The Senate package designates $350 billion for states, cities, tribal governments and U.S. territories.

Pandemic response:
Tens of billions of dollars will fund coronavirus testing and contact tracing; increasing the size of the public health workforce and funding vaccine distribution and supply chains.

This is the first of many bills needed to help working people and grow the economy from the middle out. The House of Representatives is now set to vote on this bill Tuesday. Please take a moment and thank Sherrod Brown for his leadership and vote on this important bill.