By Baylie McClafferty
The U.S. House of Representatives gave its final approval of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package on Wednesday, March 10. According to a CNN article, the bill traveled through the Senate over the weekend- and the final vote was 220-211. It was then sent to the House and passed, after which Biden signed the bill and put it into action.
This past year has been an uphill battle for most Americans. As schools shut down, families and friends lost loved ones and businesses closed, the world changed in numerous ways. While it is difficult for the government to offer what would make up for what has been lost, Biden and his administration are making a strenuous effort to help as much as it can.
According to a USA Today article, this stimulus bill offers $1,400 checks to individuals who make up to $75,000 yearly, distributes money to schools around the country to induce re-openings and donates money toward the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
This stimulus bill will also affect college students. According to a U.S. News and World Report article, $35 billion from the package is going toward higher education. The article goes on to explain how the money would help colleges navigate distance learning and institute public health protocols. These investments are aimed at accelerating the reopening process.
In just a few months, with proper navigation of the vaccine and funding, college students hope to get their normal lives back.
Another touted benefit of the stimulus bill is that college students may be able to claim the stimulus payment as long as they filed their taxes independently. Dependents now can include some 17-year-old children. College students claimed as dependents will be included in the next round of stimulus checks paid out to the person who claimed the student on their taxes.
Some stimulus payments have already been paid out, according to news reports, with more expected in the next few weeks.
“The IRS is a U.S. government agency responsible for the collection of taxes and enforcement of tax laws.” Investopedia quotes. The agency functions under the United States Department of Treasury, and controls the distribution and collection of all American taxes.
Some critics argue that this stimulus bill will ultimately hurt our economy and the money is not enough to recompense the damage that COVID-19 brought. Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, however, has also been viewed as a source of financial relief to many, and is intended to help our world regain some normalcy as the economy improves and vaccinations increase.