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The Covid Stimulus Bill: What You Need to Know

What’s in Washington’s newly passed stimulus bill, how it affects you, and what the pundits are saying about it.


President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan into law on March 11, a sprawling stimulus package intended to address the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s a lot to unpack. The bill, which is more than twice the size of the 2009 stimulus package, is one of the most ambitious expansions of the U.S. social safety net in decades. The American Rescue Plan includes direct checks for most Americans, expanded unemployment and healthcare benefits, and aid for state and local governments.


So far, the bill enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support among the public—with 70 percent overall approval among Americans, including 41 percent of Republican voters. Nevertheless, the American Rescue Plan passed along party-lines, with no Republicans in Congress voting for it. Republicans have criticized the bill as expensive and wasteful, arguing that many of its provisions are too poorly targeted. Many progressives were disappointed the final bill did not include a $15 minimum wage hike.


Here’s what you need to know about what’s in the American Rescue Plan, how it will affect you, and what it means for Washington during the Biden presidency.


What’s in the Bill?

President Joe Biden’s COVID Stimulus Bill Explained in 6 Charts Ledyard King and Javier ZarracinaUSA TodayBiden’s COVID-19 bill is more than just $1,400 stimulus checks. It also includes an expansion of Obamacare and billions to distribute the vaccine. Save

What’s in Congress’s $1.9 Trillion Covid Bill: Checks, Unemployment Insurance and More Rachel SiegelThe Washington PostA rundown on child tax credits, aid to local governments, school support, housing assistance and more. Save


How Will it Affect Me?

How Much Will Your Stimulus Check Be? Katie Lobosco and Sean O'KeyCNNRoughly 90 percent of American households are eligible for aid. Use this calculator to see what you can expect to get. Save

How You Can Benefit from the Stimulus Bill, From Checks to Healthcare to Tax Credits and More Nick VadalaPhiladelphia InquirerCongress has passed the long-awaited $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package known as the American Rescue Plan Act. But what benefits are you eligible for? We broke it down. Save

F.A.Q. on Stimulus, Unemployment and Tax Rebates Ron Lieber and Tara Siegel BernardThe New York TimesPersonal finance reporters answer your questions. Save


What’s the Debate?

Biden’s COVID-Relief Bill Is a Big F**king Deal Eric LevitzNew YorkThe law could plausibly mark a leftward realignment in American policymaking, at least if Biden & Co. continue to govern in its spirit. Save

How to Waste More Than a Trillion Dollars Robert P. O’QuinnNational Review Never has such a massive policy as the president’s ‘stimulus’ package come at a time that is more inconsistent with economic reason. Save

The Stimulus Is Only the Start Adam DavidsonThe New YorkerWhen Joe Biden signed the COVID stimulus bill into law, he insured a better year ahead. But it will not dramatically ease inequality. Save

Stimulus Spending Might Do Nothing But Add More Debt Ramesh PonnuruBloombergStop obsessing about inflation and consider a more likely scenario. Save

Five Things The COVID-19 Bill Revealed About How Washington Will Work In The Biden Era Perry Bacon Jr.FiveThirtyEight It’s only the second bill Biden has signed into law and likely to be one of the most significant. So let’s look at what we learned from the process of enacting this legislation. Save

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