Policy Update: House and Senate Approve $900 Billion Pandemic Relief Bill


Late last night, the House and Senate passed a $900 billion pandemic relief bill alongside $1.4 trillion to fund the government through September 30, 2021.

Importantly, the bill ensures that businesses will be able to deduct payroll costs and other expenses covered by the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill will also expand a tax credit that subsidizes wages for businesses hurt by the pandemic.

Other items of importance to businesses, in likely one of the longest bills ever passed by Congress (nearly 5,600 pages), includes:

  • Expanding the employee retention credit intended to prevent layoffs.
  • Adding a two-year tax break for business meals.
  • Rolling over a variety of temporary tax breaks, known as “extenders”, some for multiple years. 
  • Extending a payroll tax subsidy for employers offering workers paid sick leave.
  • Boosting the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Other notable items include:

  • $248 billion for additional PPP loans including some non-profits and makes the PPP loan more accessible for small businesses.
  • $600.00 direct payments to individuals and $2,400 to a family of 4.
  • 11 weeks of enhanced federal unemployment insurance benefits of $300.00 per week.
  • $13 billion in increased SNAP and child nutrition benefits.
  • $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools.