Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, has voted to advance major economic relief provisions for Michigan families, seniors and small businesses in the next COVID-19 relief bill through the Ways and Means Committee.
The Ways and Means Committee's portion of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget reconciliation bill included $941 billion in economic relief--about one half of the overall next COVID-19 economic relief bill. After two full days of committee work, the Ways and Means Committee passed its legislation, which now heads to the Budget Committee, where Kildee is also a member, before being compiled with other committee bills. It will then head to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for a full vote on the $1.9 trillion package.
"Families, seniors and small businesses continue to struggle from the dual health and economic crises posed by COVID-19. My district has been hit hard by this pandemic--nearly 50,000 constituents have contracted COVID-19 and nearly 1,600 of my constituents have tragically lost their lives to this virus. I am proud of the work we have done in the Ways and Means Committee to provide real, immediate relief for families, seniors and small businesses. From additional stimulus checks, to resources to accelerate vaccine distribution, to aid to re-open schools safely--more relief is on the way," Congressman Kildee said.
Key measures passed by the Ways and Means Committee include:
Additional direct assistance:
Gives working families an additional direct payment of $1,400 per person--adding to $600 payments sent in December to bring total relief to $2,000 per person.
Critical support for unemployed workers:
Extends temporary federal unemployment benefits through August 29, 2021.
Increases the federal supplemental weekly benefit from $300 to $400 per week.
Expanded tax credits targeted at workers and families:
Enhances the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers without children by nearly tripling the maximum credit and extending eligibility.
This would be the largest expansion to EITC since 2009.
Expands the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for children under 6), and makes it fully refundable and immediately available.
Health coverage and improved health care affordability:
Reduces health care premiums for low- and middle-income families by increasing the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) premium tax credits for 2021 and 2022.
Expands COBRA by continuing to subsidize COBRA coverage through the end of the fiscal year.
Creates subsidies for unemployed workers who are ineligible for COBRA.
Protecting the elderly and defeating the virus in nursing homes:
Includes Congressman Kildee's legislation to provide an additional $200 million for quality and infection control support for skilled nursing facilities. This will give facilities more resources to stop and prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.
Strengthened retirement security:
Includes the Butch Lewis Act to stabilize the pensions for more than one million Americans, often frontline workers, who participate in multiemployer plans that are rapidly approaching insolvency.