The Democratic Senate victories in Georgia have enabled President-elect Biden to launch a huge $ 1.7 trillion pandemic relief package.
Here are just a few of the highlights from the Biden Transition Team Fact Sheet made available to PoliticusUSA:
– Give working families a check for $ 1,400 per person to pay their bills and increase the total relief payment from this and December down payment to $ 2,000. More than one in three households – and half of all black and Latin American households – are struggling to pay the usual household expenses like rent and groceries during the pandemic. In this crisis, working families need more than $ 600 per person, which Congress passed last year. President-elect Biden is calling on Congress to increase this direct financial support to $ 2,000. An additional $ 1,400 per person for direct checks will help affected households meet their expenses, spend money with local businesses in their communities, and stimulate the economy.
– Raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour. During the pandemic, millions of American workers risked their lives to keep their communities and country going, including the 40 percent of frontline workers who are colored people. As President-elect Biden said, let's not just praise them, but pay them. Hard-working Americans earn enough wages to put food on the table and have a roof over their heads without having to keep multiple jobs.
– Expansion and expansion of unemployment insurance benefits to allow American workers to pay their bills. Around 18 million Americans are dependent on the unemployment insurance program. Congress did the right thing by continuing the expanded eligibility and extending the number of weeks that unemployed people can receive benefits. One study estimates that expanding pandemic unemployment insurance programs could create or save more than five million jobs by 2021. However, these benefits will expire in weeks – even as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens. Millions of Americans are receiving benefits through unemployment insurance programs that stop serving new beneficiaries by mid-March.
President-elect Biden urges Congress to expand these and other programs to provide millions of hard-hit workers with the financial security and peace of mind they need and deserve. He believes that Congress should provide a $ 400 weekly unemployment insurance supplement to help hard-hit workers meet household expenses.
The Biden Plan includes increased food aid, health care and a moratorium on eviction and foreclosure. Biden also suggests helping small businesses, restaurants / bars and other industries hit by the pandemic.
The democratic control of the Senate changed everything. Senator Joe Manchin grumbles over $ 2,000 checks, but at the end of the day it's no surprise if Manchin votes yes. Joe Biden can go to great lengths with a national COVID testing and vaccination program to bring the pandemic under control while providing momentum to get the economy going again and keep Americans alive.
With one bill, Biden and the Democrats have the potential to do more than Trump and the Republicans throughout the pandemic.
Joe Biden isn't playing and his first step to rebuild America better is a big one.
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Mr. Easley is the Founder / Senior Editor, White House Press Pool, and a Congressional Correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a bachelor's degree in political science. His thesis focused on public order with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and professional memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association