The American Rescue Plan of 2021


Photo of President Biden giving an address on the American Rescue Plan on March 12, 2021 Courtesy of Doug Mills from The New York Times

On Thursday afternoon of March 11th, President Joe Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package called the American Rescue Package. 

The plan will send direct payments of up to $1,400 to Americans. Individuals making $80,000 or less, single parents earning $120,000 or less, and couples with a household income of no more than $160,000 can claim this stimulus check.

The bill will extend a $300 per week unemployment insurance boost until September 6th. It will also put almost $24 billion into Covid-19 vaccination distribution, $130 billion to reopening schools, and more than $75 billion to small businesses and restaurants. $350 billion will be invested into state, local, and tribal relief. 

One significant chunk is investing $100 billion into a one-year increase policy of the children’s tax credit. Currently, parents can claim up to $2000 for every child under 17 on their taxes. The bill, however, increases this amount to $3,600 for parents whose children are five years old and under and $3,000 for kids between 6 and 17 years old. Additionally, instead of claiming the whole amount when filing their taxes, parents can now receive the credit in monthly checks. 

Institutions like the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University project that this monthly check policy could cut child poverty by 45% with the rate for Black children being cut by over 50%. Because of such speculations, Biden and some Democrats have expressed support for making it a permanent policy. However, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, if it were to be made permanent, the policy would cost over $1 trillion in 10 years.