The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, H.R. 1319 is a comprehensive bill that provides additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. It was sponsored by Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY-3) on February 24, 2021, passed in the house on February 27, 2021, passed in the Senate on March 6, 2021, and became a public law No. 117-2 on March 11, 2021.
Specifically, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, H.R. 1319 bill provides funding for:
- Agriculture and nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program);
- Schools and institutions of higher education;
- Child care and programs for older Americans and their families;
- COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, treatment, and prevention;
- Mental health and substance-use disorder services;
- Emergency rental assistance, homeowner assistance, and other housing programs;
- Payments to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments for economic relief;
- Multiemployer pension plans;
- Small business assistance, including specific programs for restaurants and live venues, which include revitalization grants facilitated by the Small Business Administration (Restaurant Revitalization Grants)
- Assistance and grants for State arts agencies and regional arts organization under the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act (See Shuttered Venue Grants);
- Assistance for museum and library services;
- Programs for health care workers, transportation workers, federal employees, veterans, and other targeted populations;
- International and humanitarian responses;
- Tribal government services;
- scientific research and development;
- State, territorial, and tribal capital projects that enable work, education, and health monitoring in response to COVID-19; and
- Health care providers in rural areas.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, H.R. 1319 bill also includes provisions that:
- Extend unemployment benefits and related services through September 6, 2021;
- Make up to $10,200 of 2020 unemployment compensation tax-free;
- Make student loan forgiveness tax-free through 2025;
- Provide a maximum recovery rebate of $1,400 per eligible individual;
- Expand and otherwise modify certain tax credits, including the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit and the employee retention credit;
- Provide premium assistance for certain health insurance coverage; and
- Requires coverage, without cost-sharing, of COVID-19 vaccines and treatment under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
For the full text of HR. 1319 and related bills, click here https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1319/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22american+rescue+plan+act%22%5D%7D&r=13&s=1
For more information about business assistance programs of the SBA, click here https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options.
Note: The info on the Restaurant Revitalization Grants has not yet been posted on the SBA site.
By Salene Mazur Kraemer