US Flag piggy bank

The Senate Passes the COVID-19 Relief Bill

Comparing the House’s Version to the Senate’s

Over the weekend, the Senate passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The upper chamber approved its version of the bill along party lines with 50 Democrats supporting the American Rescue Plan, as it’s known, and 49 Republicans voting against it. The Senate’s iteration of the legislation contains more narrow measures than the version passed by the House of Representatives two weekends ago. Here are some key differences:

The House bill attempted to raise the federal minimum wage over the next five years from $7.25 per hour, where it stands currently, to $15 per hour by 2025. The Senate bill does not address the topic of increasing the minimum wage because in February the Senate parliamentarian ruled wage increases could not be included in this type of bill.

Eligibility for stimulus checks has also been tightened. While both the House and Senate agreed on the dollar figure of the checks, which is $1,400, the Senate placed more narrow income limits on who can receive them. For example, the House set an income cap of $100,000 for individuals, $150,000 for single parents, and $200,000 for couples. In the Senate bill the cap was lowered to $80,000 for individuals, $120,000 for single parents, and $160,000 for couples.

Federal unemployment payments would stay at $300 with the Senate’s bill. The House voted to increase them to $400 per week through August 29, but the Senate ultimately settled on $300 per week through September 6.

Lastly, the Senate added a measure in their version of the bill that would exempt student loan forgiveness from income taxes through 2025. Generally, any debt that is forgiven is viewed as taxable income. The bill does not include student debt forgiveness, but it helps pave the way for any potential student loan forgiveness measures in the future.

Some Other Measures Included in the Bill

A few other measures from the bill include:

•  $510 million for FEMA

•  $750 million for communities negatively impacted by COVID-induced loss in the tourism and travel industry

•  $1.25 billion for educational summer enrichment programs

•  $1.25 billion for after school programs

•  $3 billion for education technology

•  $12 billion to nutrition assistance

•  $45 billion in rental, utility, and mortgage assistance

•  $30 billion for transit agencies

What Happens Next?

The House passed its version of the relief bill at the end of February, but because of the changes in the Senate’s version, the bill will now go back to the House. The House is scheduled to vote on the amended legislation tomorrow.

If the bill is approved by the House, it will then go to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer expressed confidence that the House would pass the Senate version of the bill.

Things are changing daily within the financial world. Sign up for the SoFi Daily Newsletter to get the latest news updates in your inbox every weekday.

Sign up

Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

ABOUT SoFi SoFi helps people achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions. Our products for borrowing, saving, spending, investing, and protecting give our more than one million members fast access to tools to get their money right. SoFi membership comes with the key essentials for getting ahead, including career advisors and connection to a thriving community of like-minded, ambitious people. For more information, visit Want an easy and convenient way to manage your financial life? Get the SoFi app. For iOS and Android.

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender