- Mr. Biden announced his policy in remarks Thursday night.
- His plan aims to start his term with a major bill that quickly puts his short-term agenda into action.
- The Biden Plan will consist of a rescue package that will be followed by another recovery package in the coming weeks.
Joe Biden announced a proposal for economic stimulus in the United States aimed at boosting the economy and accelerating the United States’ response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Biden campaigned last year with a promise to take the pandemic more seriously than President Donald Trump.
Mr. Biden announced his policy in remarks Thursday night:
“My fellow Americans, the decisions we make in the next few weeks and months are going to determine whether we thrive in a way that benefits all Americans, or that we stay stuck in a place where those at the top do great while economic growth for most everyone else is just a spectator sport, and where American prospects dim, not brighten.”
The package seeks to set Mr. Biden’s campaign promise in motion with an influx of resources for the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine and economic recovery.
The package includes $415 billion to reinforce the response to the virus and the distribution of vaccines against COVID-19, about $1 trillion in direct aid to families, and about $440 billion for small businesses and communities particularly hard hit by the pandemic, Biden government officials told reporters on a conference call.
Part of the arrangement is that the amount of supplementary unemployment benefits would also rise to $400 a week, from $300 a week, and would be extended until September, officials said.
Mr. Biden made the announcement at around 7 PM Eastern, highlighting the importance his team has given to the subject. His plan aims to start his term with a major bill that quickly puts his short-term agenda into action: helping the economy and controlling a virus that has killed more than 385,000 people in the United States so far.
It also offers a stark contrast to President Trump, who has spent the last few months of his government trying to undermine Biden’s electoral victory instead of focusing on further relief from the coronavirus. Despite this, President Trump, who leaves office next Wednesday, supported payments of $2,000 to Americans.
On Thursday, officials said the Biden Plan will consist of a rescue package that will be followed by another recovery package in the coming weeks.
The plan would extend moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions until September and include financing for rent and assistance with public services.
Mr. Biden will also ask Congress to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and the package will include aid to fight hunger. Resources related to coronavirus assistance will go to a national vaccine program, testing, investments for workers to publicize the vaccine and track contacts, and money for states.
Last week, Mr. Biden said the stimulus package would be “in the trillions of dollars,” and argued that more spending early in his term would reduce long-term economic damage due to the pandemic-induced shutdowns.
He also said there would be “billions of dollars” to boost the distribution of vaccines and money to help reopen schools. It would also go to state and local governments to avoid laying off teachers, police, and health professionals. The pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions have so far cost millions of American jobs.