Congress passed a one-day stopgap spending bill Sunday night, so lawmakers have until midnight today (Monday) to finish their work.
The 9-cents-per-barrel oil spill liability tax will get a five-year extension. As with past extensions, it is believed that it will not be retroactive. Other energy credits will get at least one-year extensions. This presumably includes the alternative fuel mixture tax credit for propane used as a transportation fuel and in certain non-road equipment. Solar, wind, and carbon capture and sequestration tax credits were also extended.
The deal is also expected to include the Murkowski-Manchin bipartisan energy bill. No word on whether Congress will provide additional fuel assistance (LIHEAP) but we are doubtful.
$900 billion was approved in new spending and the bill also authorizes spending of $500 billion left unspent in the previous package for a total of $1.4 trillion.
Below are some items included in the bill:
- Individual payments: A $600 payment to eligible individuals earning less than $75,000 a year. At $75,000, the payment begins to decrease as earnings increase.
- Unemployment Benefits: A $300 weekly federal payment for recipients of unemployment insurance through March 14, 2021.
- COVID-19 Vaccine: $20 billion for purchase of vaccines and $8 billion for distribution.
- PPP Loans: $284 billion additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. Eligibility rules will be revised to include more nonprofits as well as local newspapers and TV & radio broadcasters.
- Other business loans: Money is set aside for small financial institutions serving minority and low-income communities impacted hardest by the COVID-19 including $15 billion for live venues, movie theaters, museums, and other cultural institutions.
- Rental assistance: The eviction moratorium has been extended through January 31, 2021 with $25 billion in rental assistance
- Education: $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools, including money to make classrooms safer from COVID-19 transmissions with improved ventilation systems.
- Childcare: $10 billion assistance for parents for childcare and childcare providers.
- Transportation: $45 billion in transportation-related spending including $16 billion for another round of airline employee and contractor payroll support; $14 billion for transit; $10 billion for highways; $2 billion for intercity buses; $2 billion for airports; and $1 billion for Amtrak.
- Broadband Expansion: $7 billion to increase broadband access.
- State and Local Government: $22 billion aid to state/local governments for COVID-19-related healthcare costs including testing and vaccinations.
- Food Assistance: $13 billion to bolster food stamp benefits by 15%.
- Tax credits: Extends a payroll tax subsidy for employers offering workers paid sick leave and boosts the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Bill text and official summaries are likely to be released later today.