President-elect Joe Biden yesterday unveiled the details of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, which will be a legislative priority when he takes office on Jan. 20.
Here’s what Biden calls for:
- Direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, bringing the total relief to $2,000, including December’s $600 payments
- Increasing the federal, per-week unemployment benefit to $400 and extending it through the end of September
- Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
- Extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until the end of September
- $350 billion in state and local government aid
- $170 billion for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education
- $50 billion toward Covid-19 testing
- $20 billion toward a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities and tribes
- Making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for the year and increasing the credit to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under age 6)
The proposal, called the American Rescue Plan, will sustain U.S. families and firms until the Covid-19 vaccine is widely available.
“During this pandemic, millions of Americans, through no fault of their own, have lost the dignity and respect that comes with a paycheck,” Biden said in an address introducing the American Rescue Plan.
The United States has registered more than 23.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases with related deaths exceeding 388,000 as of Friday morning, showed a tally by Johns Hopkins University.