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House Budget Committee Unveils $1.9T Virus Relief Package

By Dave Simpson · February 19, 2021, 11:13 PM EST

The House Budget Committee unveiled President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic relief legislation Friday, putting forward $1,400 economic stimulus payments and enhanced tax credits for families and children.

The committee's draft of Biden's American Rescue Plan, which sews together the work of other House committees in preparation for an upcoming vote by the full House, was advanced without "substantive change," the committee said in a release.

"This reconciliation bill is the next step toward implementing the American Rescue Plan and finally changing the direction of these crises," Committee Chair John Yarmuth said in a release. "Without this relief package, conditions will spiral further out of control and families will suffer needlessly."

The legislation would provide $1,400 virus relief payments to individuals that would phase out for individuals making more than $75,000, or $150,000 for couples. No payments would go to individuals making more than $100,000 or couples making more than $200,000.

The bill would also increase the child tax credit to $3,000 in certain cases, or $3,600 for children under age 6; expand eligibility for the earned income tax credit; and extend credits to reimburse employers for workers' paid sick leave, among other tax changes.

House leadership has said it would approve legislation to be sent to the U.S. Senate well before a March 14 deadline, when certain unemployment aids that Congress approved in December would expire.

After both chambers passed a budget resolution, the House committees identified in the resolution worked to advance the actual reconciliation legislative language, which they will then send to the Senate.

Among its provisions to combat the pandemic, Friday's draft would extend federal unemployment benefits and halt foreclosure on federally backed mortgages until September. His plan would also extend paid emergency sick leave, which is funded through an employer tax credit program.

The House Ways and Means Committee approved the tax provisions of the plan on Feb. 11, and the Budget Committee will consider the bill Monday.

The tax legislation approved by the committee would cost nearly $594 billion over the next decade, according to a revenue estimate by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

"We are in a race against time, and aggressive, bold action is needed before our nation is permanently scarred by the human and economic costs of inaction," Yarmuth said in the release. "We have the plan and the fiscal space, we have the American people behind us, and now we have the bill to get it done."

--Editing by Jay Jackson Jr.

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