Introduction

The COVID-19 relief bill being debated since July in Congress was finally signed into law on December 27, 2020, as part of a broader Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The new relief package ($900 billion) is intended to extend and modify certain provisions in the CARES Act ($2.2 trillion) enacted in March 2020. Together with the provisions in the CARES Act, this relief package is the largest provided by the US government in its history (e.g., the fiscal stimulus for the 2008 financial crisis was $700 billion) and is aimed largely at assisting US businesses and workers still suffering from the COVID-19 led economic hardship. The relief package is expected to stimulate the US economy during the first half of 2021.