Senate Passes COVID Relief Bill

The Senate approved the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Saturday, over 24 hours after opening debate on the bill. The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Biden. 
 
“For over a year the American people were told they were on their own,” said President Biden “This nation has suffered too much for much too long, and everything in this package is designed to relieve the suffering and to meet the most urgent needs of the nation.”
 
The TCU/IAM Legislative Department played a significant role in the RRB and Transit funding including the Amtrak funding which will expedite the return of the Amtrak workforce.
 
Some of the major highlights that will affect TCU members in the bill are:

  • Stimulus Checks
  • Increased Child Tax Credit
  • RUI – Extends the additional $600 per two-week benefit period for Railroad Unemployment Insurance (RUI) beneficiaries through September 6th, 2021 (Labor Day)
  • $1.7 billion for Amtrak (including funds to recall furloughed workers and resume daily long-distance train services)
  • $30 billion for transit agencies
  • $28 million combined for the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) to update its antiquated IT systems, and facilitate the necessary staffing enhancements to process unemployment claims.

“It is good to finally see meaningful relief for working families who have been impacted by the pandemic,” said TCU President Artie Maratea. “This bill extends the unemployment benefits for workers who are still out of work and provides desperately needed funding for many sectors of commuter rail which I am confident will help get members back to work faster.”

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