Joe Biden won’t be sworn in as America’s 46th president of the United States until Jan. 20, but he already has a stance on COVID-19 relief. He created the Emergency Action Plan to Save the Economy as part of his presidential campaign, a document that provides insight on the direction he may lean once he takes office.
“Our work begins with getting COVID under control,” Biden Saturday night during his victory speech (you can watch it here). “We cannot restore the economy…until we get it under control.”
On Sunday, the US reported an average of more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases over the last week, The Washington Post reported, with over 1,000 deaths related to the coronavirus five out of the past seven days.
Biden is also expected to share more details of his coronavirus response plan this week, including more stimulus aid for Americans. Negotiations on the eventual bill between Democrats and Republicans will be likely, though they may not be smooth. The route to passing another stimulus package before and after the inauguration is projected to be rocky, contentious and extremely partisan.
Biden’s initial plan — which we sum up below — pulls some elements from the CARES Act, such as stimulus payments for eligible Americans and more unemployment benefits, while also suggesting new measures to provide additional financial help. Here’s what’s in it.
Biden would give you a second stimulus check
The CARES Act, passed in March, was the first stimulus package intended to help people financially affected by the pandemic. One of the most popular aspects of the act was a stimulus check of up to $1,200 stimulus check sent out to more than 160 million Americans. That direct aid caused a jump in household spending, helped millions from slipping into poverty and allowed others to save.
Biden’s plan, like the one President Donald Trump is backing, will include more direct stimulus payments, but it doesn’t specify how many or for how much, or if any of the qualifications would change. Democrats and Republicans are currently negotiating for more stimulus relief that would include another round of direct payments, but the clock is ticking to get a bill passed.
There would be more unemployment benefits
Lockdowns across cities led to an unprecedented spike in unemployment, with more than 20 million people having lost their jobs back in May. To help those unemployed suddenly, the CARES Act provided a weekly bonus payment of $600 on top of unemployment benefits provided by the states. These extra funds expired at the end of July, and Trump restarted the bonus in August via an executive memo. This temporary relief provided $300 extra for six weeks and has since been exhausted, with only a new stimulus package capable of providing more funds. (Here’s every benefit that dries up if the stimulus isn’t renewed.)
Biden’s plan doesn’t go into specifics on how much funding may be available. It does say a bill would boost unemployment benefits.
Extra money for monthly Social Security checks
There were no measures to boost Social Security in the CARES Act or in other relief packages since then. Biden’s stimulus plan calls for an additional $200 to be added to the monthly payments that go to Social Security recipients………Read More>>