Federal coronavirus relief bill would send $8.2B to Massachusetts, $400M to Boston

The Bay State could be in line for some big bucks under the proposed coronavirus relief package that has now passed the U.S. House, with $8.26 billion slated for Massachusetts, including nearly $400 million directly for Boston.

According to data released Saturday, the Massachusetts state government would receive a whopping $4.5 billion, with another $3.7 billion going to cities and towns in the state.

That includes $399 million for Boston, $106 million for Worcester and $90 million for Springfield.

“House approval of the pandemic relief bill is a critical step on the road to recovery for Boston and every community across the country that’s been hit hard by the effects of COVID-19,” said Nick Martin, a spokesman for Mayor Martin Walsh, in a statement on Saturday.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law last March 27, Boston received $121 million.

The $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” bill passed the U.S. House by a nearly party-line vote in the wee hours of Saturday morning, and will now move to the Senate.

“As our nation grieves the collective tragedies of the last year, it is our responsibility to protect lives and livelihoods,” House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Springfield, said in a statement. “We showed the American people that the help they’ve been calling for is finally on the way.”

The huge bill now faces questions as it heads to the U.S. Senate. Democrats say mass unemployment and the half-million American lives lost are causes to move on it, despite nearly $4 trillion in aid already spent fighting the fallout from the disease.

Republicans said the bill was too expensive and laden with gifts to Democratic constituencies like labor unions.

“To my colleagues who say this bill is bold, I say it’s bloated,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

The overall relief bill would provide $1,400 payments to individuals, extend emergency unemployment benefits through August and increase tax credits for children and federal subsidies for health insurance.

It also provides billions for renters, schools and colleges, state and local governments, COVID-19 vaccines and testing, food producers and struggling industries like airlines, restaurants, bars and concert venues.

Democrats are pushing the relief measure through Congress under special rules that will let them avoid a Senate GOP filibuster, meaning that if they are united they won’t need any Republican votes.

It also lets the bill move faster, a top priority for Democrats who want the bill on President Biden’s desk before the most recent emergency jobless benefits end March 14.

Herald wire services contributed to this report.

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