At the height of the COVID pandemic, a lot of folks were clamoring for assistance from the U.S. government. Multiple congressional acts would eventually hand trillions of dollars out in stimulus payments, as well as offer tax relief for Americans impacted by the virus.

According to financial experts, this played into the inflation crisis that loomed over America, and even now impacts a lot of Americans in their day-to-day purchases.

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Apparently, Congress is working on a new law that would give Americans even greater relief - or at least that's what its proponents, and some headlines, claim.

The Made in the USA Tax Credit Act

Two Democrats are aiming to promote American manufacturing with a bill known in Congress as the "The Made in the USA Tax Credit Act." A headline from Newsweek, claims "Americans Would Get $5,000 To Shop Under New Bill."

Other posts on social media are claiming that Americans are being handed the money.

Representatives Ro Khanna of California and Debbie Dingell of Michigan say their bill will offer up to $2,500 in tax credits to individuals and $5,000 for couples purchasing goods that meet the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) "Made in the USA" standards.

According to the Newsweek article, "Individuals (excluding dependents) are eligible if they earn less than $125,000 per year and have investment income below $20,000. Couples filing jointly are eligible if they earn less than $250,000 per year and have investment income less than $40,000."

Pool, Bill Pugliano and Joe Raedle, Getty Images
Pool, Bill Pugliano and Joe Raedle, Getty Images
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Will You Be Getting $5000 to Shop?

Not quite.

The website VerifyThis fact-checked the claim that Americans were essentially being given that much money just to shop for American-made goods. On the face of it, it seems like quite a tricky situation - how are you supposed to know what qualifies as "American-made" as you're shopping? It seems easy to overlook.

According to VerifyThis's fact-check, it's not that you will be given the money to shop. Instead, you can earn a tax credit for shopping you've already done. This is in line with Rep. Khanna's tweet on the bill.

What's not clear, however, are what counts and what doesn't.

"Luxury goods, tobacco products, firearms, vehicles, fuel, services, food and non-depreciable property would be disqualified from the tax credit, according to Dingell’s press release," VerifyThis said. "VERIFY reached out to Dingell and Khanna’s office for more information on what a consumer would need to provide in order to receive the tax credit if the bill passes. The bill is currently in committee."

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The bill is nowhere close to becoming a law at this time. It is currently in a congressional committee, where it will be marked up before a committee vote. It then has to move through the House of Representatives and, if passed, go to the Senate for the same procedure.

After all that, it would then need to be signed by President Joe Biden.

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