An important week begins in Congress for the possible approval of the economic stimulus plan proposed by the president, Joe Biden, on which the Democrats have been working since they arrived at the White House in January. This is a package of 1.9 trillion dollars .
The House Budget Committee approved the bill on Monday afternoon after a 19-16 vote as Democrats rush past the March 14 deadline to extend key unemployment programs.
The Speaker of the Lower House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, set the goal of having it passed there before the end of the month , so that it can then go to the Senate.
Democrats, who will have to face some obstacles in the Upper House , where they control the majority for a single seat, want to reach the final approval of the package before unemployment benefits expire in mid-March .
Below, you can learn about several of the measures included in the proposal. Keep in mind that they could change as this progresses through Congress.
Direct checks of $ 1,400 per person. The current proposal foresees that they be distributed among those who earn up to $ 75,000 annually ($ 150,000 if it is a couple). Based on these figures, the amount of the check for payees will decrease, depending on how high your earnings are.
Payments of $ 1,400 for each child . For this benefit, Democrats plan to include the undocumented as well. Eligibility criteria depend on family earnings and are the same as those expected for direct checks.
Annual aid for families . The Democratic proposal also provides that families receive annual aid of $ 3,000 for children between 6 and 17 years old or 3,600 for younger children.
Unemployment benefits . It is proposed to extend these grants, which are $ 400 per week, until August 29 of this year.
Federal minimum wage of $ 15 per hour. The plan foresees that this minimum figure will be reached within four years, through progressive increases.
Part of the funds included in the plan are also expected to go to key sectors hit by the impact of COVID-19, such as schools and health, and to help families in need to have enough food and maintain access to housing.
[“We want robust reform for the undocumented,” says Senator Bob Menéndez]
Biden also plans to announce changes to the protection program for small businesses , including those owned by Hispanics, on Monday .
The changes are intended to facilitate loans to contractors and self-employed persons, legal residents without citizenships and business owners with lesser backgrounds, according to administration officials. It will also open a 14-day window starting March 9 for companies with fewer than 20 employees to apply for help.
[Are you working on your own? Follow these recommendations to have the same benefits as an employee]
An official recalled that at least 400,000 small businesses have closed in the United States since the beginning of the pandemic. Biden has criticized the small business protection program as it was launched under the administration of his predecessor, Donald Trump, maintaining that it ended up favoring large companies while small businesses, weighed down by the crisis, had difficulty accessing to them.