Many military personnel, their families and veterans would be eligible for one-time stimulus checks of $600 under the $1.4 trillion federal funding package and coronavirus relief bill released by Congress on Monday.
The package also would give troops up to a year to pay back the taxes that have been deferred from their paychecks since September.
The proposal calls for direct payments of $600 to eligible Americans, plus $600 per dependent child. Under the plan, those earning up to $75,000; $112,500 as head of household; or $150,000 as a married couple filing jointly qualify for the full payment.
This means a family of four could potentially receive a $2,400 check. While not as large as the $1,200 stimulus awarded earlier this year, it’s “in the bill,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement Monday.
“Many of us did not think that’s enough, but it’s in the bill,” he said.
The bill extends the time frame for service members, Defense Department civilians and federal workers to pay back the 6.2% Social Security tax that has not been withheld from their paychecks since September, when President Donald Trump signed an executive order deferring the tax.
Without the legislation, personnel would be expected to pay the taxes back between January and March.
Trump said Sept. 10 on Twitter that the deferred taxes would not have to be repaid if he won re-election, but there will be no such reprieve.
On Monday, Democrats who worked to get the extension included in the omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 133, said the measure would reduce the impact on military families and civil servants.
“Our payroll tax fix will help lessen the damage of Donald Trump’s payroll tax scam for military families and civil servants by minimizing the drop they see in individual paychecks,” said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va. “Now, military families and federal workers will see that repayment spread across a much larger number of pay periods, minimizing their short-term decrease in income.”
In addition to the direct payments to many Americans of $600, the proposed legislation includes an additional $300 per week for those on unemployment and $13 billion in increased food stamps and child nutrition benefits to address hunger during the pandemic.
The legislation allots $696 billion in non-emergency discretionary spending for the DoD for fiscal 2021 and includes a number of provisions for military personnel and families above the president’s budget request, released earlier this year.
This includes an extra $116 million to upgrade child care facilities, an additional $284 million for on-base schools and a total of $1.5 billion for environmental restoration programs -- $430 million more than requested.
An earlier version of the bill included funding for the DoD to change the names of military installations that honor Confederate officers -- a condition that President Donald Trump said would cause him to veto legislation.
The omnibus bill contains no reference to Confederate base names.
The bill is the work of negotiations between House and Senate lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and was expected to pass both chambers Monday.
It must be signed by Trump to ward off a shutdown of the federal government.