On March 6, 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
This bill provides additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses.
Specifically, the bill provides funding for
- agriculture and nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program);
- schools and institutions of higher education;
- child care and programs for older Americans and their families;
- COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, treatment, and prevention;
- mental health and substance-use disorder services;
- emergency rental assistance, homeowner assistance, and other housing programs;
- payments to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments for economic relief;
- multiemployer pension plans;
- small business assistance, including specific programs for restaurants and live venues;
- programs for health care workers, transportation workers, federal employees, veterans, and other targeted populations;
- international and humanitarian responses;
- tribal government services; and
- scientific research and development.
The bill also includes provisions that
- raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025;
- extend unemployment benefits and related services;
- provide a maximum recovery rebate of $1,400 per eligible individual;
- expand and otherwise modify certain tax credits, including the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit;
- provide premium assistance for certain health insurance coverage; and
- require coverage, without cost-sharing, of COVID-19 vaccines and treatment under Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).