Biden Reveals Comprehensive Covid Stimulus Plan

President-elect Joe Biden delivered an address yesterday outlining his $1.9 trillion relief package, according to Reuters. Biden aims to have more stimulus payments sent to Americans as well as beef up the federal government’s Covid-19 vaccine distribution plan. His proposal is called the “American Rescue Plan.”

“The crisis of human suffering is in plain sight, and there’s no time to waste,” Biden said on Thursday, speaking from his transition headquarters in Delaware. “We have to act, and we have to act now.”

His plan includes direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, so that the sum from the relief payments sent last month adds up to $2,000, according to CNBC. His bill also increases the federal unemployment benefit to $400 a week and extends it through the end of September.

Federal minimum wage will increase to $15 an hour under the plan, and there will be an extension of the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums through the end of September. In addition, $50 billion would be spent on testing for Covid-19, while $20 billion would be set aside for a national vaccine program that partners with states, local governments and Native American tribes.

Biden is also still in support of $10,000 for the forgiveness of student loans. While the high price tag is expected to draw the ire of Republicans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the plan.

They said it is “the right approach” and is the quick action America needs. Biden is also expected to introduce a second bill next month which aims to create jobs and combat climate change.