Stimulus Package Shrunk by $66 Billion Thanks to Senate

Mandatory Credit: Photo by MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (11773219a)Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer holds a news conference regarding COVID-19 economic stimulus relief legislation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, 23 February 2021.
MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock / MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Although the Senate passed President Joe Biden’s stimulus package earlier this week, their revisions cut $66 billion from the $1.9 trillion package, estimates from the Congressional Budget Office show. While $66 billion is a substantial amount of money, the cuts represent only a very small percentage of the total cost.

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The new stimulus bill will increase the deficit by $1.855 trillion over the next 10 years, a reduction from the original $1.921 trillion. The most substantial cuts to the package included eliminating the mandate for a $15 federal minimum wage. Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled against the increase, news outlets such as CNN reported in late February. She stated that the hourly wage mandate did not meet strict guidelines that would permit the stimulus bill to pass through the process of reconciliation. Reconciliation allows certain bills related to budget, taxes and debt to pass with a simple majority vote rather than a 60-vote majority in the Senate.

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The parliamentarian’s decision played a key role in the rapid passage of the bill through the Senate. It also stripped $54 billion off the total cost of the package.

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Reducing the weekly supplemental federal unemployment benefits by $100, giving people $300 rather than $400, also shaved some money off the plan. However, by making that benefit tax-free up to $10,200, the reduction had a less dramatic effect on the total cost of the stimulus.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.

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