WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan to address the human and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic includes proposals ranging from fresh payments to households, aid for cash-strapped state and local governments and money for schools.
Here are some major elements of the bill working its way through Congress:
DIRECT PAYMENTS: $414 BILLION
The package called the “American Rescue Plan” proposes a fresh round of payments to Americans of $1,400 per person, phasing out for individual taxpayers earning between $75,000 and $100,000.
AID TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: $350 BILLION
One of the most controversial elements of the package would provide funding to cash-strapped state and local governments to help them cope with added costs for first responders, vaccine distribution and other expenses at a time when some of their revenues are falling.
CHILD CARE: $175 BILLION
An expanded child tax credit would cost $88 billion; $48.4 billion would be allocated for childcare and other human service and community support programs and $39.0 billion for a childcare and development block grant program.
SCHOOLS: $170 BILLION
The bill would help reopen elementary and high schools safely and to address other pandemic-related classroom and education needs. Republicans have complained that too little of the money proposed would be spent this year.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: $163 BILLION
Jobless people would get a new round of federal payments amounting to $400 per week through Aug. 29.
PUBLIC HEALTH: $92 BILLION
More federal funding to procure and distribute COVID-19 vaccines and other medical equipment and for hiring new public-health workers and tracking the virus.
SMALL BUSINESS AID: $50 BILLION
The program would help expand Paycheck Protection Program benefits, provide grants to restaurants and bars losing revenue during the pandemic and deliver other grants and loans.
RENTAL ASSISTANCE: $30 BILLION
The bill includes funds for households needing help paying rent and mortgages and to provide aid to homeless people.
FOOD AID: $3.54 BILLION
Increased benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would be extended through Sept. 30. (Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Catherine Evans)
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