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Congress Completes Work on Fifth COVID-Relief Package, President to Sign

The House of Representatives once again passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319), following Senate passage Saturday, by a vote of 221-211. The legislation is expected to be signed into law by President Biden this week to provide a fifth round of COVID-relief to the American people.

The House vote comes after the Senate stripped a provision that would have changed the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. In addition, the Senate made minor changes to the House-passed legislation, which required another vote by the House. Unfortunately, every House Republican opposed the legislation along with Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), the lone Democrat who opposed the measure.

Of critical importance to letter carriers are two key provisions that NALC successfully lobbied for including:

The bill also provides $1,400 in direct relief payments for individuals making under $75,000 (phased out at $80,000) and joint filers making $150,000, with $1,400 per dependent child.

We expect the Department of Labor to issue guidance on the leave and workers compensation provisions in the near future. NALC will work with the Postal Service on implementation of the leave provisions and will provide updates as more information becomes available.