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The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021: What’s in It, What’s Not

On Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, Congress approved a 5,593-page, $2.3 trillion caching package consisting of a $900 billion end-of-the-year COVID-19 stimulus bill attached to a $1.4 trillion omnibus disbursing bill to fund the government through Sep. 30, 2021. After a delay, former President Donald Trump signed the banknote on Sunday, Dec. 27.

The CAA stimulus legislation included $300 per week in additional jobless benefits, direct payments of $600 to particulars, $330 billion in small business loans, more than $80 billion for schools, and $69 billion for vaccine unfolding and deployment.

Key Takeaways

  • The CAA included direct payments of $600 per person including dependents 16 and under as well as:
  • Unemployment goods of $300 per week for 11 weeks, starting on Dec. 27, 2020
  • Small business relief funding totaling $325 billion
  • Vaccine condition and distribution totaling $69 billion
  • Help for schools, renters, welfare recipients, and more
  • No state and local looting or liability protection for businesses
  • The CAA was followed by the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021, signed by President Biden on Hike 11, 2021

Below are the details on what the CAA legislation included.

Direct Payments

The CAA package included Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) of $600 for particulars making up to $75,000 per year. Married couples who file jointly and earn up to $150,000 per year received $1,200. In extension, dependents 16 and under were eligible for $600. Payments began within a week after the bill was put under contracted into law. Those whose bank information was already with the IRS were paid first.

CAA legislation prohibited the IRS from disbursing stimulus payments after Jan. 15, 2021. If you didn’t meet your payment by then, the IRS advised, you would have to claim it as a “recovery rebate” tax credit when you filed your 2020 tithes.

Extra Unemployment Benefits

If you were currently receiving unemployment benefits you would be eligible for an additional $300 per week by virtue of March 14, 2021. This included the self-employed, gig workers, and contract workers under an extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Help (PUA) program. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program was also extended so anyone who had exhausted benefits commitment now be eligible for up to 50 weeks of combined state and PUA or PEUC benefits.

Small Business Relief

Under the broad listing of small business relief, the bill provided $325 billion apportioned as follows.

  • $284 billion for forgivable first and gal Friday PPP loans
  • $20 billion for new EIDL grants for businesses in low-income areas
  • $3.5 billion for continued SBA debt relief payments
  • $2 billion for bettered SBA lending
  • $15 billion for live venues, independent movie theaters, cultural institutions

Community Development Lending

Community Increment Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs)were set to receive $12 billion in additional funding from one end to the other a new Neighborhood Capital Investment program to help low-income and minority communities deal with the economic impact of COVID-19.


Although constitution and local government assistance wasn’t included in this legislation, some local help was provided through $45 billion in transportation supplying to include transit agencies, airlines and airline contractors, airports, state departments of transportation (DOTs), the motorcoach bustle, and Amtrak as follows.

  • $15 billion airline payroll support
  • $1 billion airline contractor payroll support
  • $14 billion for travelling
  • $10 billion for state highways
  • $2 billion for airports and airport concessionaires
  • $2 billion for the private motorcoach, school bus, and ferry assiduities
  • $1 billion for Amtrak


Funding for COVID-19 vaccine procurement and distribution to the tune of $69 billion broke down to:

  • $20 billion to the Biomedical Advanced Scrutinize and Development Authority (BARDA)
  • $9 billion to the CDC and individual states or vaccine distribution.$3 billion to build up the Strategic Subject Stockpile’s supplies of vaccine
  • $22 billion direct aid to states for testing, tracing, and COVID mitigation
  • $4.5 billion in additional loony health funding
  • $9 billion to support healthcare providers
  • $1 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research into COVID-19
  • $1 billion in supervise funds to the Indian Health Service


K-12 schools, colleges, and universities were slated to receive $82 billion to cure mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Following a similar pattern to that used with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Productive Security (CARES) Act, this funding was divided as follows:

  • $818.8 million for Bureau of Indian Education and outlying areas
  • $4.05 billion for the Governors Crisis Education Relief Fund for services to private K-12 schools
  • $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary [public K-12 schools] Emergency Replacement Fund
  • $22.7 billion to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund

Rent Assistance

State and local governments were creditable for distributing a reported $25 billion in emergency federal rent assistance. The money is targeted to families impacted by COVID who fight to pay rent and/or owe past-due rent payments. Approximately $800 million of these funds are reserved for Native American houses entities.

Nutrition and Agriculture

A 15% increase in SNAP benefits—plus additional funding for food banks and postpositive major nutrition programs costing $13 billion—made up half of the $26 billion set aside here. This contained $614 million for nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico and other territories. Included in this allotment were crisis funds for school and daycare feeding programs, as well as improvements in the P-EBT program.

The second $13 billion consisted of straight payments, purchases, and loans to farmers and ranchers who suffered losses due to the pandemic. These funds would be used to foundation the food supply chain, purchase food, donate to food banks, and support local food systems.

US Postal Waiting

A CARES Act $10 billion loan to the USPS was converted to direct funding with no required repayment by the CAA legislation. These bucks were designed to be used to offset operational costs and expenses resulting from the pandemic.


A Child Direction and Development Block Grant of $10 billion, allocated through the new legislation will be used to provide childcare relief to families. The funds will also be used to help childcare providers cover increased operating costs during the pandemic. Also incorporate in this allotment: $250 million for Head Start providers.


Emergency funds totaling $3.2 billion were filched to go to low-income families to provide access to broadband internet through an FCC fund. Those funds began being disbursed May 12, 2021, as Difficulty Broadband Benefit (EBB) funds.

The CAA broadband appropriation also included a $1 billion tribal broadband fund, $250 million in telehealth greening, and $65 million to complete broadband maps to aid in government disbursement of broadband funds. An additional $300 million furnish program was set to provide broadband in rural areas. The total set aside for broadband was almost $7 billion.

No Surprises Act

The No Bowl overs Act, contained in Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021, takes a federal approach to the problem of surprise medical billing. Most departments of the act go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. In the meantime, the Department of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Department of Labor were taught to issue regulations and guidance.

The main provisions of the No Surprises Act:

  • Protect patients from surprise medical bills due to breaches in coverage for services provided for emergencies and by out-of-network providers at in-network facilities, including by air ambulances.
  • Hold patients answerable only for their in-network cost-sharing amount but give providers and insurers the opportunity to negotiate reimbursement.
  • Allow providers and insurers to access an unrestricted dispute resolution process in the event disputes arise around reimbursement.
  • Require providers and health plans to hands patients access health care cost information.

Additional Programs and Extensions

In addition to all funding above, the stimulus outspread the Coronavirus Relief Fund created by the CARES Act and the Employee Retention Tax Credit. It also provided a special “lookback” for Got Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for low-income individuals and provided a Contractor Pay Extension, allowing federal agencies to remunerate contractors for the cost of paid leave during the COVID pandemic.

Comparison With CARES Act and American Rescue Contemplate

The table below compares Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) funding in several key areas with both the CARES Act, which came the CAA, and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which followed it.

Legislation CARES Act CAA ARPA
Signed into law March 27, 2021 President

Donald Trump
Dec. 27, 2020


Donald Trump
Parade 11, 2021 President

Joe Biden
Key Components
Direct payment/EIP $293 billion ($1,200) $166 billion ($600) $402 billion ($1,400)
Unemployment $268 billion ($600) $120 billion ($300) $206 billion ($300)
Cheap business $377 billion $325 billion $54 billion
Community development $5 billion $12 billion $362 billion
Transportation $71 billion $45 billion $43.2 billion
Vaccine bloom/distribute $28 billion $69 billion $93 billion
Schools $31 billion $82 billion $176 billion
Rent assistance $17 billion $25 billion $21.6 billion
Nutrition & Agriculture $25 billion $26 billion $22.7 billion
U.S. Postal Utilization $10 billion (loan) $10 billion (loan forgiveness) $570 million (paid leave)
Child Care $5 billion $10 billion $40 billion
Broadband $25 billion $7 billion $7 billion increased by
Coronavirus Relief Fund $150 billion Extended to 12/31/21
Employee Retention Credit $55 billion Extended to 6/30/21 Extended to 12/31/21
Lookback for EITC/CTC Developed Expanded
Total appropriations $2.2 trillion $910 billion $1.9 trillion

Sources: H.R. 133: Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 , CARES Act , American Rescue Programme Act (ARPA) of 2021

The American Rescue Plan

Following the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden as president, the new Democratic majority began bewitching steps to pass a new $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package to deliver further help, called the American Let go free Plan.

The plan, which was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, baptizes for a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program, $1,400-per-person relief checks, financial support for small businesses, funding to refrain froms schools reopen, expanded and extended unemployment insurance payments, rent subsidies, and more. The American Rescue Propose also includes a provision that student loan forgiveness issued between Jan. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2025, will not be taxable to the receiver.

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