New stimulus bill contents confirmed: $600 stimulus, $300 unemployment checks, more

December 22, 2020 0 By boss


Soon we’ll know every detail of the final $900 stimulus proposal for 2020.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Congress is rushing to approve by the end of Monday a nearly 5,600-page bill that ties next year’s federal budget to a collection of economic relief measures for individuals and small businesses, including a second stimulus check for up to $600 apiece.

After weeks of back-and-forth negotiations, Congressional leaders have now made public the details of $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus part of the bill. Once the House and Senate and approve the bill and President Donald Trump signs into law, the new stimulus package will send a second stimulus check of up to $600 to qualifying adults and their dependent children — but not dependent adults. It would also renew a handful of government benefits set to expire starting this week, including federal unemployment financial support, rental assistance and an eviction ban

Here are the key issues in the economic stimulus package Congress leaders have agreed on, including the funding it provides, like a second stimulus check — and what is left behind. This story updates often with new information.

Read more: Will there be a third stimulus check? How a new Congress in January could hold the key.

A second stimulus check for $600 and…

The new economic relief bill — which Congress merged with funding for next year’s federal budget — will send a second stimulus check topping out at $600 to each eligible adult and a flat sum of $600 per qualifying child age 16 years and younger. That’s a change from the cap of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child dependent, from the first round of payments. 

Individuals will receive the full $600 if their AGI is under $75,000, the their payment will start start to decline as their yearly income goes up. For heads of household, the AGI is $112,500, and for those married and filing jointly the number is $150,000. Here’s a breakdown of the qualification requirements for the second stimulus check and some information about how much money you might be able to get.

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Next stimulus checks: What to expect


$300 per week in federal unemployment benefits

The CARES Act passed in March gave $600 per week to people who are out of work, on top of their usual state unemployment check. When this funding lapsed at the end of July, President Donald Trump signed an executive action to pay a $300 per week bonus. That money will run out by Dec. 31.

The bipartisan proposal would provide $300 per week in additional federal unemployment benefits for 11 weeks. Payments wouldn’t be retroactive. Here are more details on weekly unemployment checks.

No liability protection from COVID-19 lawsuits this time

A major sticking point through the summer and fall, Republican legislators have supported limiting COVID-19 liability to guard against lawsuits against businesses, schools, hospitals and other organizations from people who said these institutions caused them to acquire the coronavirus, except for instances of gross negligence. Democrats have balked at the plan.

The coronavirus liability shield, along with money for state and local funding, has been broken off into a separate piece of $160 billion legislation. The final stimulus bill in 2020 wouldn’t include this, but that discussion could pick up again in 2021.

“We all know the new administration is going to be asking for another package,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Dec. 15. “We can live to fight another day on what we disagree on, but we all agree to go forward on what we can agree on. That’s the way forward.”

Extend Payroll Protection Program to cover employee wages

The Payroll Protection Program initially provided forgivable loans to small businesses as a way to help cover worker wages so they wouldn’t have to lay off employees. 

The new bipartisan proposal would add $284 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program for small business forgivable loans. The bill would target aid for businesses especially hard hit by closures, including nonprofits, restaurants and live venues. 


Both sides are weighing the options for an eventual stimulus package.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Renew an eviction ban, renter assistance

The CARES Act established a nationwide ban on evictions for renters who were late on their rent. When that was set to expire, Trump extended the ban. But that extension, too, is set to expire at the end of the year. The new bipartisan bill would extend the federal eviction moratorium through Jan. 31, 2021.

It would also help guard against evictions by providing $25 billion to state and local governments to help qualified renter households pay for rent and utilities. 

According to this summary of the bill:

“Assistance would be prioritized for renter households whose incomes do not exceed 50 percent of AMI [local area median income] as well as renter households who are currently unemployed and have been unemployed for 90 or more days. Financial assistance provided under this section is non-taxable for households receiving such assistance.”

Funding for health care and coronavirus vaccinations

With the US offering its first wave of coronavirus vaccinations, the proposals turn toward funding distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The bipartisan proposal would provide $16 billion for vaccine development and distribution, along with funding coronavirus testing and contact tracing efforts.

Read more: What to know about the COVID-19 vaccine’s timeline, hidden costs and more

Money for schools, childcare and food assistance

Funding for education has been a part of proposals for more economic assistance going back to May. The new bipartisan bill sets aside $82 billion for education and $10 billion for child care. The bill also includes $13 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

State and local aid money? Not this time

The bipartisan proposal would split off $160 billion for state and local aid into the package with liability guards. The intention is that Congress could consider the two areas of conflict separately from the bill focused just on economic relief.

While we wait to see how and when negotiations shake out over the current proposals, here’s what you need to know about coronavirus hardship loansunemployment insurance and what you can do if you’ve lost your job.

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