This morning, the US Senate passed a budget resolution on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, the “American Rescue Plan.” The budget resolution does not pass the Bill into law but allows for a “budget reconciliation” that will ultimately pass the Bill into legislation.
Biden’s new relief package allocates $350 billion in emergency funding to state, local, and tribal governments. In comparison, $150 billion of the $2 trillion CARES Act Provider Relief Fund was allocated to state, local, and tribal governments. Eligible activities of those funds could be used to cover expenses incurred due to the pandemic. Funding often covered costs incurred by government organizations leveraging new technology to digitize their services.
Funding provided to state, local, and tribal governments had to be spent by December 30, 2020 or returned to the federal government. However, on December 27th, a new $900 billion relief bill passed by Former President Trump extended the deadline to December 31, 2021. The new bill did not include any new money for state, local, and tribal governments.
In total, 45 amendments were proposed during the Senate “vote-a-rama”. The budget reconciliation is expected to be passed by the House in late February or early March.