With a new President taking office, another COVID-19 stimulus plan has been announced. Joe Biden released a two-step recovery and rescue plan which includes distributing $1.9 trillion in relief.
Key Elements to the American Rescue Plan
- Direct Cash Payments – Taking up the biggest chunk of the Rescue Plan is the additional $1,400 per citizen stimulus checks President Biden plans to distribute to the American people.
- Support for State & Local Governments – $350 billion will be intended for funds for state and local governments to pay frontline workers, reopen schools, upgrade public transit systems, and more.
- Extended Unemployment Insurance – The $300 weekly federal unemployment insurance will increase to $400 and extends to September 30th, 2021.
- Coronavirus Response – $400 billion is allocated for coronavirus testing and vaccine distribution.
- Reopening Education – $130 billion will be intended for reopening schools safely. $35 billion is planned for higher education, while another $5 billion will be given to governors to support educational programs.
- Rent Relief – Biden calls for extended eviction and foreclosure moratoriums through September 2021. $30 billion will go towards rental assistance, and another $5 billion will be dedicated for emergency housing for the homeless.
- Support for Small Businesses – Biden plans to distribute $15 billion in grants for hard-hit small businesses. $35 billion in government assistance will be leveraged towards the $175 billion in small business lending and investment.
- Increased Minimum Wage – Biden is pushing for the minimum wage to increase to $15/hour while also pushing for employers to provide hazard pay.
Some economists see the plan as encouraging, but others argue that the large public spending could come at a cost. The total in emergency stimulus currently sits at $3.9 trillion, and with Biden’s proposed American Rescue Plan, it would increase that figure by 50 percent.
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