This coming week, the House Budget Committee will assemble a final bill. The measures approved by at least nine committees stay close to what Biden outlined in his proposal. The timing is crucial as an estimated 11.4 million workers will lose their unemployment benefits by the second week of April unless Congress passes its next coronavirus relief package quickly.
Here’s what you need to know:
Health insurance subsidies and Medicaid
The bill will secure federal premium subsidies for Affordable Care Act policies and make them more generous. This will eliminate the maximum income cap for two years. Besides, the legislation will support subsidies for lower-income enrollees and those collecting unemployment benefits by eliminating their premiums entirely.
The House bill will extend two critical pandemic unemployment programs through August 29. It would also increase the federal weekly boost to $400, from the current $300, and continue it for the same period. The President’s plan had called for continuing the benefits through the end of September.
Tax credits for families and workers
The House bill could expand the child tax credit to $3,600 for children under six and $3,000 for children under 18. As more low-income parents could take advantage, it would also become fully refundable.
Aid to states
The House legislation hopes to provide $350 billion to state and local governments. This will include tribes and territories.
The House is looking to increase food stamp benefits by 15% through September and $880 million for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC.
The legislation is working to increase the federal minimum wage one step at a time. By 2025 they hope to increase it to $15 an hour, which would help guarantee that workers who depend on a tip, the youth and disabled worker force are paid the full federal minimum wage.
Education and child care
The bill is looking to add nearly $130 billion to K-12 schools.This will help students return to the classroom. Schools would also be able to update their ventilation systems and reduce class sizes to put in social distancing measures and support staff with the equipment they need.