Stimulus payments, tax credits, rental assistance included in $1.9 trillion relief bill

Help is on the way for millions of Americans adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Relief Plan into law on March 13. 

There is great emphasis on the $1,400 stimulus checks to those making $75,000 a year or less. But there’s more to help many American families.

"The first group it helps, is the group that’s the intended target, which is to say people who are not wealthy," said University of New Haven economist Professor John Rosen.

Parents would get a $3,600 tax credit each year for each child five and younger. Parents with children between 6 and 17, would get a $3,000 tax credit each year for each child. 

"I think it means everything. It’s a major. It will have a major impact on families, especially low-income households and those who have uneven earnings every month. A lot of people will benefit, especially children. They’ll be lifted out of poverty because of it," said Dr. Melinda Day, a Denver-based family and child expert.
Also, $20 billion for emergency rental assistance and other forms of relief funding for the homeless. And $10 billion for mortgage and homeownership assistance.
The bill also contains billions of dollars to extend unemployment benefits for those who were left jobless due to COVID-19 shutdowns. There is also aid for state and local governments who’ve gone from boom to bust seemingly in the blink of a financial eye.
"As businesses scaled back, they paid fewer taxes. Not only to the federal government but to the state and to their municipality," said Rosen.
Some economists worry this latest trillion-dollar recovery bill could have disastrous consequences down the road, as Americans, at some point, will have to bear a tax burden or inflation for money printed now.
"When it starts to show up, people will have forgotten the warnings of inflation from all the way back in 2021," said Rosen.
Experts believe the country can continue borrowing against the future for maybe one more stimulus package before such actions trigger inflation – possibly by the middle of the decade.