President Joe Biden signed his own sweep $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package in law on March 11. It is a major law that has been compared to FDR’s New Deal.
While no House or Senate Republican voted in favor of the bill, it has been touted by House Democrats and Progressives as a means of expanding the “social safety net” providing food and shelter assistance, as well as better access to health care and direct assistance to families as the country continues to grapple with the pandemic and the fragile rollout of vaccines.
“This historic legislation aims to rebuild the backbone of this country and give the people of this country, the workers, the middle class people, the people who built the country, a chance to fight,” said Biden before signing the legislation.
The relief bill includes $ 1,400 in stimulus checks for most households, as well as assistance to businesses and local governments. But people are left with questions, ranging from their eligibility for assistance to more specific measures provided for in the bill, like funeral reimbursements linked to COVID-19 through FEMA.
That’s why Rep Alexandria Ocasio Cortez took to Instagram Live again to summarize some of the more common questions and also to highlight some important aspects of the bill that could be overlooked by the uninformed.
“It’s time to show you the money!” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter, summarizing almost everything she touched on in her hour-long video.
It’s time to show you the money!
I just did a live IG to answer your questions about the COVID package. We talked about stimulus checks, children’s checks, unemployment insurance, funeral reimbursements and more.
Some of you are going to make more money than you think!
– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 12, 2021
“In our last recovery bill, the CARES law, last year, you know, in the law that provided for the first round of checks, there was a lot of corporate gifts and everything like massive bribery, because frankly, we had to face the Trump administration, ”Ocasio Cortez said at the start of the live.
“I can confidently say that $ 1.9 trillion doesn’t have the same range of nasty gifts and stuff, which means more of that money is going to help you,” a- she continued.
The specifics of the COVID stimulus checks were of great interest to viewers. Ocasio-Cortez clarified that unlike the previous two stimulus deployments, dependents are now eligible. This means students and family members with disabilities or older who were claimed by their supporters when they filed the 2020 taxes.
For anyone who was eligible for a check last year and for some reason didn’t receive it, you can still get that money, but you need to do it now when you file your 2020 taxes.
“When you file your 2020 taxes, you’ll have the option to correct that and they’ll just add it to your refund this year,” she said.
There is also an income limit this year, Ocasio-Cortez explained. The phase limit starts at 75K.
“If you’re an adult earning $ 75,000 or less as an individual, as a married couple up to $ 150,000,” she says.
Ocasio-Cortez also explained that the lower threshold against the CARES law was a critical moment in the House.
“It was a huge point of contention for us. We really fought to prevent that, but at the moment the Senate is 50-50 years old and that was a crucial provision, ”she said.
But she also said House Dems was pushing for more.
Ocasio-Cortez worked with other members of the house to include that the first 10,200 unemployment earnings people received in 2020 should be tax-exempt.
“And so we won that,” she said.
In other words, those who were unemployed in 2020 and received up to $ 10,200, it cannot be imposed by the federal government. For those who have already deposited, there is the possibility of readjusting.
The COVID relief bill also contains an additional $ 300 per week of unemployment and a much anticipated child tax credit of $ 3,000 to $ 3,600 in additional assistance per child.
“You will receive recurring checks from 90 days,” Ocasio-Cortez explained, totaling $ 3,000 per child – $ 3,600 if the child is under six – at the end of the year. It will not be distributed as a lump sum payment.
Ocasio-Cortez then switched to student loans.
While there is no student loan cancellation, she explained that there is a provision she calls an “Easter Egg”.
College students will receive stimulus payments that they did not receive in 2020, but there is also an additional tax provision that states that “if” student loans are canceled in the future, you don’t have to. pay tax on cancellation.
It’s hidden in the bill and doesn’t affect anyone’s loans now, but Ocasio-Cortez has indicated that he has the ability to do what he’s set to do if the mobilizers make their voice heard. voice.
“Now is the time to organize to create political pressure, because there, hidden, it’s almost like […] someone is leading the way, and I cannot claim credit for this provision, ”she said.
In the rest of her live IG, AOC continued to provide additional information and insight into the following that she described in her instagram post:
– FEMA will reimburse you up to ~ $ 7k for COVID funeral reimbursements
– The first $ 10,200 of unemployment income in 2020 will NOT be taxed by the federal government!
– Cheaper ACA healthcare exchange premiums (free for some)
– FREE COBRA BONUSES UP TO SEVEN!
– Assistance to independent restaurants and bars
– Housing assistance (rent + mortgage)
– Easter Egg on Student Loans … a positive sign of things to come?
– All adults will be eligible for vaccines from MAY 1! (Not part of the package but announced tonight!) »
Many of the legislative changes outlined by Ocasio Cortez are temporary, but Democratic advocates and lawmakers are currently in talks to make some of them permanent.