Biden Reveals $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package That Would Fund Vaccine Rollout & Send $1400 Payments To Americans
President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that would offer support to struggling businesses and families amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal includes $1,400 in direct payments to individuals, increased unemployment benefits, and more than $400 billion to directly counter the virus through funding large-scale vaccine rollouts and safely reopening schools within 100 days.
The package, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, also provides up to $8,000 in tax credits to offset the costs of childcare. The plan would also provide emergency paid leave to 106 million Americans, regardless of the size of their employer — something congressional Republicans have previously pushed back against.
It would also offer economic support for jobless individuals, adding an extra $400 weekly in unemployment benefits.
“During this pandemic, millions of Americans, through no fault of their own, have lost the dignity and respect that comes with a job and a paycheck,” Biden said in a speech. “There is real pain overwhelming the real economy.”
He added that the package’s provisions do “not come cheaply, but failure to do so will cost us dearly.”
While the package would provide economic relief, it also aims to directly combat the pandemic through a $20 billion “national vaccine program.”
He plans to institute community vaccination sites nationwide, in locations such as high school gymnasiums and stadiums — similar to the large COVID-19 testing sites that currently exist in some cities. He noted that he will release nearly all available vaccines once he takes office.
Biden has promised to have 100 million American people vaccinated for COVID-19 by his 100th day in office.
His plan would also offer aid to small businesses and state economies, the latter of which Republican lawmakers have blocked from past relief deals, believing that Democrat-led states are mismanaging funds.
Biden will have to work with Republicans to secure bipartisan support in the Senate since its 50-50 tie between the political parties could allow Republicans to filibuster and block its passage.
The President-elect underscored the importance of bipartisanship, saying that “unity is not some pie in the sky dream — it’s a practical step to getting the things we have to get done as a country, get done together.”