By Ashwin Narra
On March 6, the Senate passed a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill that was cited by President Biden as “urgently needed,” according to the White House Website. The bill consists of $1,400 stimulus checks, as well as $70 billion going towards vaccine distribution.
In his latest statement, Biden indicated that “Everything in this package is designed to relieve the suffering and to meet the most urgent needs of the nation and put us in a better position to prevail, starting with beating this virus and vaccinating the country.”
Even though he believes that this is the best way for the country to resurrect itself, Republicans in the Senate would beg to differ. According to USA Today, Republican Representative Liz Cheney from Wyoming stated that, “This bill does far more harm than good and the damage it does will only make our recovery efforts more difficult.” The vote for the bill split through the middle with 49 Republicans opposed and 50 Democrats in favor, according to TIME.
Democrat members in Congress including Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) collaborated to send a letter urging Senate leaders to consider the new bill.
According to Insider, the letter contained a message saying, “This type of direct assistance has proven to be critical to lifting people out of poverty and have been among the most effective programs to address the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
With the new bill being passed, individuals making up to $75,000 and couples making up to $150,000 per year are able to receive a $1,400 check. This direct payment system was very important for the Senate, as well as funding local governments and public schools, and expanding tax credits for families with young children.
With the signing of the bill, President Biden has made it clear that he wants to complete his plan for economic recovery and infrastructure aid. With Covid-19 bringing an array of challenges to the country, it seems as if President Biden is open to even more changes, as he publicly stated according to CNBC, “If they need more help, we’ll do another bill.”
As all of these conditions apply to a variety of different people receiving these stimulus checks, one group of citizens in the country have often been led to many misconceptions. Despite the fact that the bill was advertised as being inclusive for American students, not all will qualify for this round of stimulus checks.
According to Forbes, for dependent college students, meaning if they depend on a parent or guardian to file their taxes, the guardian will qualify for a $1400 credit if their household income falls under $75,000.
For independent college students, the same rule applies but the student will receive the check themselves. With more than 20% of college students having a child, the bill includes a $3,600 cash allowance for people with children under the age of six, which rounds out to a $300 check every month.
According to Forbes, some more advantages of this bill for college students includes receiving more financial and emergency aid. With $40 billion being given out to colleges and universities, the bill will largely assist economically struggling institutions.
College students who support themselves and receive almost no income, students who are in a graduate program and are living by themselves and who turned 24 or older in 2020 are all eligible to apply to receive the amount they missed out on in past stimulus checks through the Recovery Rebate credit, according to BankRate.
With many college students under the impression that they are eligible for direct payment of the new stimulus check, most should check with their parents as the many college students are declared as dependents.