Direct Payments to Citizens
Direct economic relief via stimulus checks of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year. $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000, and an extra $600 for dependent children that are under 17 years old.
It would apply the similar income limits and phase-out as the CARES Act, reducing the payments by 5% for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000. Filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) greater than $87,000 (or $174,000 if filed jointly) would not receive a payment.
Payments would be based on 2019 taxes. Payments could be issued for certain beneficiaries who did not file 2019 returns, including retired and disabled workers, Supplemental Security Income recipients, and veterans receiving VA benefits.
Payroll Tax Deferral
Workers whose payroll taxes have been deferred since September would be given until Dec. 31, 2021, to pay back the government, instead of through April 30, 2021, as originally directed by the Treasury Department.
Paid Leave Credits
The measure would extend credits for paid sick and family leave provided under the second coronavirus relief package through March 31, 2021.
Modifications to CARES Act and the CRF
Extends the date by which state and local governments must make expenditures with CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) awards from Dec. 30, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2021.
Expanded Unemployment Benefits
Provides $120 billion in unemployment insurance (UI).
Extends the Federal Pandemic unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program through March 14, 2021, providing $300 per week for all workers receiving unemployment benefits.
Extends and phases out the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to March 14 (after which no new applicants) through April 5, 2021.
Extends and phases out the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides additional weeks when state unemployment runs out, to March 14 (after which no new applications) through April 5, 2021. Provides additional weeks for those who would otherwise exhaust benefits by increasing weeks available from 13 to 24–with all benefits ending April 5, 2021.
Increases the maximum number of weeks an individual may claim benefits through regular state unemployment with the additional PEUC program, or through the PUA program, to 50 weeks.
Provides an additional $100 per week for certain workers who have both wage and self-employment income but whose UI benefit calculation does not take their self-employment into account.
Extends the interest-free loans to states, flexible staffing and nonprofit relief to March 14, 2021.
Requires documentation of employment, rather than the self-certification that is currently in use and requires states to verify applicant identity.
Requires states to have a place to report when someone turns down a job and must notify claimants of the requirement to accept suitable work.
States may opt to provide an extra benefit of $100 per week for up to 11 weeks through March 14, 2021, for certain workers who have both wage and at least $5,000 of self-employment income in the most recent taxable year ending prior to application.
Other Labor-Related Provisions
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provided a refundable tax credit for the mandated paid sick leave and family leave for private-sector employers with under 500 employees:
- This bill extends the tax credit through March 31, 2021, for employers that continue to offer paid sick and family leave to their employees.
- The bill does not extend the FFCRA provisions that required the public sector employers (state and local government entities) to provide emergency paid sick and family leave.
- The unfunded federal mandate for state governments to provide emergency paid sick and family leave is still set to sunset on Dec. 31, 2020.
- The bill does allow private sector employers and self-employed individuals to claim the tax credit for voluntarily providing emergency paid leave that is provided through March 31, 2021
Extends and expands the CARES ACT employee retention tax credit (ERTC).
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2021, and through June 30, 2021, the provision does the following:
- Increases the credit rate from 50% to 70% of qualified wages.
- Expands eligibility for the credit by reducing the required year-over-year gross receipts decline from 50% to 20% and provides a safe harbor allowing employers to use prior quarter gross receipts to determine eligibility.
- Increases the limit on per-employee creditable wages from $10,000 for the year to $10,000 for each quarter.
- Increases the 100-employee delineation for determining the relevant qualified wage base to employers with 500 or fewer employees.
Small Business Provisions
Provides $325 billion in small business funds.
- $284.5 billion for first and second forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
- A small business can receive a second PPP loan if they have less than 300 employees and can demonstrate a revenue reduction of 25%.
- Maximum loan amount reduced to $2 million.
- $20 billion for new Economic Injury Disaster Loan Grants for businesses in low-income communities.
- $15 billion in funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.
- $3.5 billion for continued Small Business Administration debt relief payments.
- $2 billion for enhancements to Small Business Administration lending.
Businesses that received PPP loans would be able to take tax deductions for the expenses covered by forgiven loans.
Expands PPP eligibility for 501 (C)(6) nonprofits, including local newspapers, radio, and television broadcasters, and destination marketing organizations.
Provides $12 billion for Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions that provide credit and financial services to low-income and minority communities.
Health and Human Services Provisions
Health Legislative Add-Ons:
- Provides for a one-time, one-year increase in the Medicare physician fee schedule of 3.75% to support physicians and other professionals in adjusting to changes in the Medicare physician fee schedule during 2021, and to provide relief during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Extension of temporary suspension of Medicare sequestration- provides for a three-month delay of the Medicare sequester payment reductions through March 31, 2021.
- Authorizes a national campaign to increase awareness and knowledge of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for the prevention and control of diseases, to combat misinformation, and to disseminate scientific and evidence-based vaccine-related information. It also directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand and enhance, and as appropriate, establish and improve programs and activities to collect, monitor and analyze vaccination coverage data (the percentage of people who have had certain vaccines). The section also requires the National Vaccine Advisory Committee to update, as appropriate, the report entitled, “Assessing the State of Vaccine Confidence in the United States: Recommendations from the National Vaccine Advisory Committee.” Finally, it authorizes grants for the purpose of planning, implementation, and evaluation of activities to address vaccine-preventable diseases, and for research on improving awareness of scientific and evidence-based vaccine-related information.
Human Services Legislative Add-Ons:
- Temporary freeze for “aging out” foster youth: Provides older foster youth who would normally “age out” with the assurance that they may continue to receive foster care support and services during the pandemic, or if they left, may return. It permits states to use pandemic Chafee Foster Care Independent Living Program funds to offset the cost of meeting this requirement for youth for whom federal foster care matching is not available.
- Temporary Family First match waived: Temporarily waives the match for Family First Prevention Services until the end of the public health emergency period.
- Temporary Prevention Services Clearinghouse State Match Waived: Temporarily waives the required state match and the requirement that the specific model be in the federal Prevention Services Clearinghouse for kinship navigator programs funded with FY 2020 funds and maintains requires that programs, which are not in the Clearinghouse be under evaluation, or begin an evaluation to be funded. The evaluation costs are included in the costs of federal funds.
- Title IV-E Technical FMAP Correction- technical correction to Title IV-E treatment of the 6.2% Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) rate increase from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act making it so it applies to the baseline based on the annual average FMAP rate in the state for FY2020 and FY2021, to ensure access to Funding Certainty Grants.
- Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) Flexibilities: Provides needed flexibilities to home visiting programs funded by MIECHV to allow them to serve at-risk pregnant women and families during the pandemic, for the duration of the public health emergency period.
- $73 billion to HHS to support public health, including:
- $8.75 billion to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support federal, state, local, territorial and tribal public health agencies to distribute, administer, monitor and track coronavirus vaccination to ensure broad-based distribution, access and vaccine coverage, including:
- $4.5 billion for state, local, territorial, and tribal public health departments.
- $300 million for a targeted effort to distribute and administer vaccines to high-risk and underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minority populations and rural communities.
- $22.945 billion for the Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to respond to coronavirus, including:
- $19.695 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for manufacturing and procurement of vaccines and therapeutics, as well as ancillary supplies necessary for the administration of vaccines and therapeutics.
- $3.25 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile.
- $55 million for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for continued work on FDA efforts to facilitate the development and review, both pre-market and post-market, of medical countermeasures, devices, therapies, and vaccines to combat the coronavirus. In addition, funds will support medical product supply chain monitoring and other public health research and response investments.
- $25.4 billion to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to support testing and contact tracing to effectively monitor and suppress COVID-19, as well as to reimburse for health care-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to the coronavirus, including:
- $22.4 billion for testing, contact tracing, and other activities necessary to effectively monitor and suppress COVID-19, including $2.5 billion for a targeted effort to improve testing capabilities and contact tracing in high-risk and underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minority populations and rural communities.
- $3 billion in additional grants for hospital and health care providers to be reimbursed for health care-related expenses or lost revenue directly attributable to the public health emergency resulting from coronavirus, along with direction to allocate not less than 85% of unobligated funds in the Provider Relief Fund through an application-based portal to reimburse health care providers for financial losses incurred in 2020.
- $1.25 billion for National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support research and clinical trials related to the long-term effects of COVID-19, as well as continued support for Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics for COVID-19.
- $4.25 billion for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide increased mental health and substance abuse services and support, including:
- $1.65 billion for the Substance Abuse and Prevention Treatment Block Grant.
- $1.65 billion for the Mental Health Services Block Grant.
- $600 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics.
- $50 million for suicide prevention programs.
- $50 million for Project AWARE to support school-based mental health for children.
- $240 million for emergency grants to states.
- $10 million for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
- Not less than $125 million of funds provided to the SAMHSA must be allocated to tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, or health service providers to tribes across a variety of programs.
- $10.25 billion for Administration for Children and Families to support early childhood programs and child-care providers through:
- $10 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants to provide immediate assistance to child-care providers.
- $250 million for Head Start.
- $100 million for Administration for Community Living to address abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the elderly, including adult protective service and long-term care ombudsman activities.
- While not included within the stimulus provisions, the FY 2021 appropriations bill allocated $638 million to carry out a new Low-Income Household Drinking Water and Wastewater Emergency Assistance Program “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.”
- The program will make grants to states and tribes, which would then distribute the funds to drinking water and wastewater utilities. The provision directs the HHS to target the funding to "low-income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes, that pay a high proportion of household income for drinking water and wastewater services.”
Nutrition and Food Appropriations and Legislative Add Ons:
- $100 million for state administrative costs through fiscal year 2021 and requires these funds to be made available to states within 60 days of enactment.
- $5 million for technical support to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in expanding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) online purchasing program, including for farmers markets and direct marketing farmers, and for supporting mobile payment technologies and the electronic benefit transfer system.
- $614 million to Puerto Rico and American Samoa for nutrition assistance, of which $14 million shall be available to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
- Increases the monthly SNAP benefit level by 15% through June 30, 2021.
- Excludes FPUC from being counted toward household income for SNAP.
- Extends SNAP eligibility to college students who are eligible for a federal or state work-study program or has an expected family contribution of zero. Subsection (f) directs the HHS secretary to submit a report on the redemption rate and account balances for each month from January 2021 to June 2021.
- Shortens the statutory waivers for certain SNAP quality control requirements from Sept. 30, 2021, to June 30, 2021.