Latest Change To $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Bill Decreases Jobless Benefits

By Bill Galluccio

March 5, 2021

Senate Democrats are continuing to tweak the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill as they work to finalize the package. The latest change to the bill lowers the federal unemployment benefits to $300 per week while extending the program through September.

In the bill that passed the House, the federal benefit was $400 per week and would have expired at the end of August.

As part of the deal, the first $10,200 in jobless benefits will be non-taxable.

The Senate is working its way through a marathon session in which lawmakers can introduce an unlimited number of amendments to the bill. Democrats are confident the stimulus bill will ultimately pass. It will then be sent back to the House of Representatives, which will vote on the changes. If the House passes the updated version, it will be sent to President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law.

"We're not going to make the same mistake we made after the last economic downtown, when Congress did too little to help the nation rebound, locking us into a long, slow, painful recovery," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor. "We are not going to be timid in the face of big challenges."

Earlier in the week, Democrats agreed to limit the number of people who are eligible to receive a $1,400 stimulus check.

Photo: Getty Images

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