President Elect Joe Biden is proposing sending an additional $1,400 in stimulus checks to qualifying Americans. That would be in addition to the $600 that Americans already received, adding up to $2,000 in all.
The $2,000 figure is the amount that Senate Republicans blocked but President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supported in the days leading up to the George runoff elections. Only the $600 compromise amount made it through the Senate.
The proposal came in a prime-time address by Biden, who rolled out the “America Rescue Plan.” His stimulus proposal would total $1.9 trillion. Biden also wants to give people an additional $400 in weekly unemployment benefits. Biden also wants to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour. He needs both houses of Congress to get the measures through; after the runoff elections are certified, the Senate is expected to be split 50-50, but Biden’s Vice President Kamala Harris would break the time.
Here’s what you need to know:
Biden Promised ‘Direct Cash Payments’ On Twitter
Writing on Twitter on January 15, Biden promised:
Direct cash payments.
Aid to small businesses.
Keeping essential frontline workers on the job.
Those are the key elements of my American Rescue Plan.
Biden added: “We have no time to waste when it comes to getting this virus under control and building our economy back better. Tune in as I announce my American Rescue Plan.” He continued, “We need to tackle the public health and economic crises we’re facing head-on. That’s why today, I’m announcing my American Rescue Plan. Together we’ll change the course of the pandemic, build a bridge toward economic recovery, and invest in racial justice.”
On January 10, Biden had written on Twitter, “$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table. We need $2,000 stimulus checks.”
Top Democrats Praised the Proposal
House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer praised Biden’s plan in tweets.
“After Congress passed the most recent emergency COVID-relief bill in December, Democrats were clear that much moreneeded to be done,” they wrote. “We are pleased the Biden-Harris package includes much of what Congressional Democrats have been fighting for, including an increase in direct payments to $2,000 for American families, support for vaccine distribution and testing, additional aid to small businesses, funding to safeguard state and local jobs, extension of unemployment benefits, help for renters and children in poor and middle-class families and more.”
They added: “The final jobs report of the Trump Administration issued last week was a bright red warning sign that the economy needs additional help right away. We’ve now lost more than 385,000 Americans to COVID-19, millions of Americans have lost their jobs and are looking for work, hundreds of thousands of small businesses have closed, frontline workers are being laid off and communities across the country are on the brink of collapse. The robust package announced by President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris shows we now have the necessary leadership in the Executive Branch to turn this around and we are ready to get to work to deliver aid without delay.”
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