What Biden’s $1.9T COVID-19 relief legislation means for Utahns

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SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (ABC4) – What does President Joe Biden’s $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 relief legislation mean for Utahns?

The 591 page bill passed the House Budget Committee on Monday.

According to a report by USA Today, a breakdown of the legislation shows it’s offering up to $1,400 stimulus payments for people earning $75,000 of less, $2,800 for couples earning $150,00 or less, and a $400 weekly boost in federal unemployment benefits through August.

“When we talk about things like a $400 boost in unemployment that directly goes towards helping these people pay their mortgage or their rent,” said Jeffrey Merchant of the Utah Democratic Party Chair. “Helping them to feed their families and themselves.”

In addition, an extension of the 15% increase in food stamp benefits.

As well as an expansion of the child tax credit including an increase to $3,600 per child and a shift to it being delivered as a monthly payment.

“There’s also a child care tax credit which they’re offering that would be between $4,000 – $8,000,” says Merchant.

The legislation could hinge on a debate over increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

It’s currently stuck at $7.25 an hour which was set in 2009.

Now, that the President’s plan has been endorsed by the House Budget Committee, it’s expected to pass the House in the coming days.

It will then move onto the Senate where it’s split 50 – 50 between Democrats and Republicans and may be met with opposition from Republicans including Utah Senator Mitt Romney.

“We went item by item through our respective proposals,” said Romney to ABC4 back on Feb. 1.

It was a short time after, he and nine other republicans countered offered Biden’s plan with a $618 billion plan of their own.

For this report, ABC4 did reach out to the Utah Republican Party for comment.

A representative says they aren’t able to offer a comment at this time due to scheduling.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...