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The package involves measures and financial help for vaccine distribution as we supporting the unemployed through direct transfer benefits up to September 2021. President-elect Joe Biden said that they have no time to waste and get the ball rolling fast.
On Thursday, January 14, the President-elect of United States Joe Biden announced a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan to support the pandemic-hit economy. The proposal dubbed “America Rescue Plan” aims to majorly support households and businesses. Joe Biden also called it the need for bold investments to accelerate vaccine distribution and jumpstart the economy.
However, Biden also acknowledged the ambition of his COVID-19 rescue plan but also said that it will give rich dividends to the US. While unveiling the new relief plan from his transition headquarters in Delaware, Biden said:
“The crisis of human suffering is in plain sight, and there’s no time to waste. We have to act, and we have to act now. I know what I just described does not come cheaply, but failure to do so will cost us dearly. The consensus among leading economists is, we simply cannot afford not to do what I’m proposing.
“If we invest now – boldly, smartly, with unwavering focus on American workers and families – we will strengthen our economy, reduce inequality and put our nation’s long-term finances on the most sustainable course,” he added.
Of the total package announced, $415 billion will go to fighting the COVID-19 virus and rolling out the vaccines. $1 trillion will go as direct transfer benefits to households and the unemployed. The remaining $430 billion will go to small businesses and other communities hit hard by the pandemic.
This relief package is the first part of Biden’s plan of two major spendings during his first few months of the presidency. The second bill, expected to come in February, will tackle the Biden administrations’ long term goals of creating jobs, combating climate change, reforming infrastructure, etc.
Lawmakers Remain Divided on COVID-19 Proposal from Biden
Last month, the Trump administration already announced a $900 billion stimulus relief package. With the new proposal by Joe Biden, Americans will get an additional $1400 in direct payments against the $600 announced in December. The per-week unemployment benefits are also moved up to $400 by the end of September 2021.
Some economists and lawmakers have asked to maintain caution on spendings. Republicans such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said that the government needs to be wary of spendings after the recent $900 billion stimulus deal. Although the Biden administration might face hurdles with the proposals, Democrats are now in control of both – the House and the Senate.
Biden’s fellow Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer extended support. In a joint statement, they noted:
“With the COVID-rescue package the President-elect announced today, he is moving swiftly to deliver that help and to meet the needs of the American people. The emergency relief framework announced by the incoming Biden-Harris administration tonight is the right approach. It shows that Democrats will finally have a partner at the White House that understands the need to take swift action to address the needs of struggling communities.”