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Bill that will send $1,400 payments, extend unemployment, expected to pass in House this week



Michael P. Norton

By the end of this week, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief and economic stimulus bill could be on its way to the U.S. Senate, according to House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal.

During a press conference in Springfield on Monday, Neal outlined a timetable and prediction for the bill.

“It now appears as though Friday will be the scheduled vote on the president’s economic relief package,” he said, according to video of the event posted by WWLP. “I fully anticipate that it will pass the House of Representatives in a very disciplined manner on Friday.”

In addition to $1,400 payments to Americans who qualify for the aid, the bill will extend temporary unemployment benefits, currently at risk of expiring in March, through Aug. 29, Neal said. The bill also includes a series of tax credits aimed at helping working families, and $350 billion in aid to state and local governments.

Neal said there will be “qualifiers” on the government aid that ban its use for pension relief and encourage spending on essential workers. “There are going to be tight guidelines as to how that money is utilized and expended, but there will be considerable flexibility for governors, I believe, to allocate any of those resources,” he said.

Neal said the CARES Act, another major relief bill that was approved last March, “saved the American economy, period.”

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