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Chairman Neal Announces Markup of COVID-19 Relief Measures

February 8, 2021
Press Release

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) announced the Committee will consider nine legislative proposals under the budget reconciliation instructions this week as the next step in delivering COVID-19 relief to the American people. Beginning on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. through Friday, February 12, 2021, the Committee will markup proposals spanning from extending unemployment insurance to expanding the child tax credit to delivering another round of direct assistance to struggling Americans. 

“Our nation is struggling, the virus is still not contained, and the American people are counting on Congress to meet this moment with bold, immediate action,” Chairman Richard E. Neal said. “Later this week, the Ways and Means Committee will take a crucial step to confront this challenge and show the country that help is on the way. From increasing direct assistance to those who need it most to expanding tax credits for low- and middle-income workers, we deliver substantial solutions in this package.

“While it is still our hope that Republicans will join us in doing right by the American people, the urgency of the moment demands that we act without further delay.”

 

Key Ways & Means Measures:

Additional direct assistance:

  • Giving working families an additional direct payment of $1,400 per person—bringing their total relief to $2,000 per person.

 

Critical supports for unemployed workers:

  • Extends temporary federal unemployment and benefits through August 29, 2021.
  • Increases the weekly benefit from $300 to $400.

 

Fairness in the tax code for families and workers:

  • Makes historic expansions to tax credits targeted at workers and families:
    • Enhances the Earned Income Tax Credit 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 advanceable.
    • Helps families access high-quality child care by expanding the Child and Dependent Tax Credit (CDCTC) to allow families to claim up to half of their child care expenses.

Supporting health coverage and improving 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.
  • Supports the continuation of employer-based health coverage by subsidizing COBRA coverage through the end of the fiscal year.
  • Creates health care subsidies for unemployed workers who are ineligible for COBRA.
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Protecting the elderly and crushing the virus in nursing homes:

  • Provides skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) the tools and on-the-ground support they need to contain COVID-19 outbreaks and gives states funding to deploy strike teams to SNFs to manage outbreaks when they do occur.
  • Increases public health and social services to combat abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the elderly that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Emergency assistance for vulnerable children, families, and workers:

  • Uses existing pathways to get resources to people in need quickly, including those who may not be receiving other assistance provided during the pandemic
  • This aid would help ensure that pregnant women, children, and struggling families can maintain access to the essentials during the emergency, like housing, diapers, internet service, soap, and food.

 

Strengthened retirement security:

  • Stabilizes the pensions for more than 1 million Americans, often frontline workers, who participate in multiemployer plans that are rapidly approaching insolvency.
  • Without action, the multiemployer pension system could collapse entirely, leaving retirees in poverty, businesses in bankruptcy and communities in crisis.

Section-by-Sections:

 

Full text:

 

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