Biden Reveals Details Of His $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Plan With $1,400 Stimulus Checks
Much to the relief of millions of Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday revealed details about a massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package. The package is designed to help households and businesses struggling with their finances amid the still-raging pandemic.
Dubbed as the American Rescue Plan, the proposal also comprises $416 billion to facilitate a national vaccination program that aims to vaccinate 50 million Americans and reopen schools during the first 100 days of Biden's presidency. Biden outlined his 1.9 trillion relief package during a prime-time address, making a new round of stimulus checks available to struggling Americans and a vaccine distribution plan to restrict the spread of the pandemic.
Biden is expected to ask the new Democratic-controlled Congress to give the American Rescue Plan its stamp of approval. The plan focuses on restricting the worsening impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed 384,375 lives and over an alarming 23 million cases in the United States, according to NBC News' COVID Data Dashboard.
In his speech, the incoming president of the United States paid tribute to those who died since the deadly pandemic reached the country. In his harrowing and optimistic speech, Biden also acknowledged Americans who aren't able to pay rent, buy basic needs for their families, and struggle to keep their businesses afloat.
According to Biden, his plan will help millions of Americans come out of poverty as they build the country's industries, reinvest in teachers and first-responders, and make sure essential front-line workers have their jobs. Bloomberg's Michael R. Strain, however, suggests Biden's stimulus could backfire, arguing that aid to states and localities is needed, but giving $2000 checks for those who never lost or jobs isn't necessary.
Biden calls for direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, which brings total relief to $2,000, which comprises Dec. $600 payment. He is also suggesting that the federal, per-week unemployment benefit should be increased to $400, and it should be extended to the end of Sept.
Aside from that, he recommends increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, per CNBC. Senior Biden officials say the aforesaid plan is the first of two spending initiatives the incoming president will push for in the first few months after taking office.
Expected in Feb., the second bill will revolve around Biden's longer-term goals, including creating more jobs, reforming infrastructure, handling climate change, and promoting racial equity. Officials have also confirmed that Biden also supports $10,000 in student debt forgiveness.