President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion relief package that would offer a new round of stimulus checks to struggling Americans and small businesses. His plan also includes a vaccine distribution proposal to control the deadly pandemic, following systemic failures to distribute the vaccine across multiple states.
Under Biden’s relief package, the future president would ask the Democratic-controlled Congress to approve what he’s calling the “American Rescue Plan.” A large percentage of the funds would help launch a new national vaccination program, with the ambitious goals of vaccinating at least 100 million Americans and reopening schools in the first 100 days of the new administration, following the upcoming inauguration on Jan. 20.
Biden claims that his plan will uplift millions of jobless and struggling Americans out of poverty, rebuild American businesses and reinvest in first responders, teachers and frontline workers.
Under the plan, Biden intends to provide billions to small businesses, with a focus on minority-owned establishments, as well as to low-income families currently struggling to pay rent or access federal nutrition programs. Biden has also called for extending nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures.
"Just as we are in the midst of a dark winter of this pandemic as cases, hospitalizations and deaths spike at record levels, there is real pain overwhelming the real economy," he said. "The one where people rely on their paycheck — not their investments — to pay their bills, their meals and their children's needs. And there is no time to wait. We have to act and act now."
Under Biden’s two-step plan, American citizens will receive an additional $1,400 in payments on top of the $600 payments that were dispersed as part of President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 relief package. Trump called for lawmakers to send out $2,000 checks, but his proposals were denied by Mitch McConnell’s Republican-led Senate.
Biden claims that his relief package will merely be a “down payment” and has called upon bipartisan support for future relief.
According to NBC News, the President-elect intends to lay out the second step of his plan in a State of the Union speech in February. It is expected to include investments in infrastructure, job training, manufacturing and clean energy. Biden’s ambitious plan hopes to create more than 18 million jobs, many of which were lost in 2020.