First look: What's in the $900 billion stimulus package? - Must Read AlaskaQ
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Saturday, February 27, 2021
HomePoliticsFirst look: What’s in the $900 billion stimulus package?

First look: What’s in the $900 billion stimulus package?


The $900 billion stimulus package is trimmed down from from the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress in March. It has funds for small business loans, schools, rental assistance that comes with an extension of the eviction moratorium, and direct aid. Its final passage is expected today.


$166 billion will go directly into Americans’ wallets. Direct payments are up to $600 for individuals and for each child dependent, and decreases for those with higher incomes. The last stimulus check cutoff started at $75,000 income per individual and was not available to those earning $99,000 or more, or $198,000 for joint filers. This one will be similarly structured.

In some parts of the country, that $600 will stretch further. In Alaska, that’s enough to help get someone through about a week. The stimulus is worth double to those living in cheaper parts of the country, while Alaska, New York City, and Seattle are somewhat penalized.


$120 billion is set aside for extra unemployment payments. With more than 19 million Americans receiving unemployment checks, about 13 million would lose benefits starting this Saturday, when the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation expire. The new stimulus extends both, with $300 weekly extra benefits for up to 11 weeks. It also expands unemployment benefits to gig workers and self-employed workers. Some workers will qualify for 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits.


$25 billion is for rental assistance, with $800 million carved out for Native American housing agencies. The federal eviction ban was extended until the end of January.


The stimulus package has $325 billion for small business loans. That includes $284 billion in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, which must be used for support of workers and to prevent layoffs, $20 billion for businesses located in low-income areas, and $15 billion for live entertainment businesses, festivals, movie theaters, and places like museums.

Businesses will be able to deduct at least some of their forgiven PPP loans. To support restaurants and get diners back in them, the measure has a two-year tax break for business meals.


The package has a $4 billion “governors’ relief fund,” $10 billion for state highways, $2 billion for airports, $82 billion for colleges and universities, $54 billion for public K-12 schools, and $23 billion for a higher education fund. There are no funds directly for cities.


$45 billion will go to help airlines make payroll, and there is support for mass transit, and Amtrak. ($15 billion will help airlines maintain their payrolls.)


$69 billion is set aside for vaccines, testing, tracing, and COVID-19 mitigation, which includes $20 billion for purchasing vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, the two vaccine makers that have received FDA approval.


A 3 percent raise for members of the military is included.

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Oh my gosh what a waste some of this is. Why would you give any educational organization a dime. Many have saved millions from no school. Teachers and everyone working there ha e been paid. Why does education always get so much and do so little. Why would anyone retired who lost no income bet anything? Why would any public sector union get anything if they did not lose their jobs. Some things never change. Keep spending and letting China own us!

  • Hey, as long as the feds are cranking-up the printing presses, and “the debt doesn’t matter” (in the immortal words of Dick Cheney), why not send out $9 trillion, or $900 trillion?

  • Yeah money don’t go as far as it used to does it? It’s expensive to live in Alaska. That’s why a lot of people headed south. Living in the bush and having to pay for air travel, shipping freight out is costly. It’s almost like living on the moon, you got to pay to have everything you need to send in unless you go out and snipe a moose or something. Hondas, skiffs and snow goes, all those things you need for transportation in the bush to be able to hunt some food is expensive. The $600 stimulus money it’s just a very small Band-Aid. Who wasn’t meant to do anything more than to help people out a little bit. I am glad the military got to pay raise. I have a tough job and an even tougher one once they get out.

    • I’m not sure why K12 education got so much money. They’re already coming out ahead on this. It’s over Billings got so common

  • As Robert Heinlein once wrote, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

    You can only prop up a shutdown economy for so long before the money runs out. Even the Feds’ coffers have limits. Sooner or later, someone will have to pick up that $900 billion bill, and the more people we put out of work with these lock-downs, the heavier that burden will be on whoever is left standing.

    America needs to get back to work!

  • Good grief so much room for comment here but I will restrain myself as I expect wiser comments from others!

    OK, 54 Billion for public schools? How many schools across our nation are sitting empty. No school busses running, teachers working on their computers and not driving hence saving money on fuel, sports cut, facilities maintenance reduced, heating and air conditioning costs reduced, electricity costs reduced…. Then there are the countless numbers that are now opting to home school so enrollment is reduced. Seems there should be room for a reduction and huge savings, not a need for $54, 000,000,000 more dollars.

    ‘Stimulus’ also seems a misnomer as is not this money simply being printed, further eroding the value of the dollar?

  • I saw, think it was Newsmax that one very important aspect of this bill is a huge win for seniors. Language was passed on “No surprise billing”. I cant’ find the article now. The reason I am happy about this is that is an Executive Order from the President that now, once signed will be in law, not a EO. The other reason is that this has been a big issue with AMAC Action!

  • How much of it is a loan to you?

      • Nine years ago, you’d have been right! Is that supposed to be some kind of sick burn?

      • My friends know me better as a disabled combat veteran, though. What have *you* sacrificed for this great nation of ours, Suzanne?

      • Nice to see you erasing my mention of my armed service to this country, Suzanne. You know people take screenshots, right?

        • Ah, a mistake on my part. You haven’t stooped that low, yet. Kudos!

          • When one finds oneself in a hole (particularly, in a hole of one’s own creation), one should at the very least stop digging.

  • Oh wow! Our infinitely generous overlords will award us with 600 big ones!? And it only took 9 months for them to get this done, what a great accomplishment. I bet they feel very proud of themselves and will reward their hard work with a huge dinner at the taxpayers expense. Probably about $600 a plate, I’d guess!

    • Pelosi and the hit gang tied it up until after the election, and then even after the appeals waiting for the smoke to clear. They figure the American people have a short memory which most of the time they do. They want to take credit for it. Even the Trump hating Republicans are in bed with them.

  • 54 billion bucks for K-12 education? Never have so many, done so little, for so much! The inmates are truly running the insane asylum now.

    • Yeah. Buses haven’t run. They have lots of money.

  • You forgot something…I just read an article about massive green energy projects that are going to be funded with this relief bill. So much for helping small business. A lot of these dollars will find their way to Democrats’ pockets and Chinese windmills and solar panels. So sad.

    • And you forgot the billions to other countries. For democratic reasons.

      • Illegal aliens will get $1800 checks

        $700 million to Sudan
        $1.3 billion to Egypt military
        $453 million to Ukraine
        $135 million to Burma
        $85.5 million to Cambodia
        $1.4 billion for Asia reassurance
        $130 million to Nepal
        $3 million for Hong Kong rioters
        $10 million for gender programs in Pakistan

        And people are just getting started reading the 5,600 pages of the bill.

  • The US Government is now illegitimate. No American owes the federal bureaucracy allegiance or obedience.

  • Fire up the printing presses!
    Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve Chairman is on the record saying there is “no limit” to the amount of spending for covid response.
    Neel Kashkari, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis said “there is an infinite amount of cash in the Federal Reserve. We will do whatever we need to do to make sure there’s enough cash in the banking system.”
    Just print more money and it will fix everything!

    • What you suggest in jest, many people are now suggesting in all seriousness.
      Biden did not win this last election, insanity did.

      • They aren’t just suggesting it in all seriousness, they are and have been doing exactly that for years and years…that’s why our national debt is $27,521,993,000,000 and climbing.

    • Basically since we’re not on the gold standard anymore printing more money will in fact fix just about anything since the greenback is based on the strength of our country and its ability to defend itself and others.

  • Well, at least it wasn’t the six trillion that Schumer and Pelosi were calling for…

  • I don’t want my money via government “benevolence.” How about I keep my tax dollars since I took my kids out of public school? How about I keep my money so I can help keep local businesses running? How about I keep my money so I can pay my own bills and assess my own risk?
    I don’t want any handouts – I just want a country I recognize and the freedom to live in it.

    • Doesn’t sound like you want much of a country at all. In order to live here under our country’s protection, everybody has to put a little something in the kitty.

    • Ya, I’m with you! Unfortunately that is now a pipe dream. If we want to be self sufficient and NOT a burden on society we will be punished.

      Suzanne, when you can would you post a list of the PORK in this Bill, ie: gender equality for statues!

  • Stimulus payments are coming soon maybe or maybe not? Reading on the $1200 stimulus payment included taxpayer who filed taxes in 2019. What is also surprising is the 311,913 who died in 2020 are receiving the stimulus payment. That is $374.295,600.00 I guess the dead are getting paid for voting for Dementia Joe.

  • $600.00. how little will congress and the senate be continuing paying themselves in their pension, healthcare, and salary? That doesn’t even come close enough how much people lost this year! While their lowly constituents lost income, lost hours, lost businesses, lost homes, and lost self respect because of the fear they bought into believing a virus will kill them? No one forced the American people to live in a state of fear and panic. If we were meant to fearfully live, the Good Lord will had provided us a plastic hamster bubble to roll around in.

  • $900B divided by all 330M people is $2,727 per person.

    Your $600 check is going to cost you $2,727.
    What an awesome benevolence! [/sarc]
    700 million to Sudan
    $135 million to Burma
    $85.5 million to Cambodia
    $1.4 billion for “Asia Reassurance Initiative Act”
    $130 million to Nepal
    $1,000,000,000 to Smithsonian
    $40,000,000 to Kennedy Center
    $154,000,000 to Natnl Art Gallery
    $167,000,000 to Natnl Foundation of Arts and Humanities
    $14,000,000 to W. Wilson Center
    Not to mention funding “gender studies” in Pakistan.

  • SOCIALIST and RINO government in action.
    Veto it Trump
    Take the whole pot.
    Divide it by 300,000,000.
    Give every person $3,000.
    Job done!

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