Biden Economic Plan Offers Grants & $1,400 Stimulus Checks for Americans
Households need help, and they need it now. “No one working 40 hours per week should live below the poverty line,” said President-elect Joe Biden. The new Congress will debate and make suggestions for the robust $1.9 trillion stimulus plan that would provide grants, loans, and aid to businesses and citizens within the next two weeks.
The new stimulus plan is not cheap. But if we fail to act now, we are going to pay the price later. Best to spend money now, while interest rates are low, proclaimed Biden.
Everyone remembers when Trump asked for $2000 stimulus checks for every American adult and child citizen who had a bona fide social security number this past December. ITNs for resident aliens were not eligible. Trump desired an extra $1,400 to go to Americans to boost the economy from the $600 in aid that Congress had passed during the third week of December 2020.
More Republican Congressmen warmed up to the idea; however, McConnell failed to bring the measure to a vote on the Senate floor. Now, he has lost his leadership in the Senate.
Biden promised that if Georgia sent two Democratic Congressmen to the Senate, he would immediately mail out the $2,000 stimulus checks, minus the $600, per household member, up to the cap, with resident immigrants included for eligibility after the inauguration. Adult dependents and college students would also be eligible for stimulus checks.
The proposal could cost the American government over $400 billion in additional spending. The funds could sustain homes from one to two months. Many households may invest stimulus funds in the stock market.
Many Americans kept their jobs, but their hours may have been cut, or another member of the household may have lost a job. The stimulus checks would be a monetary lifeline.
Small businesses would be eligible to apply for $15 billion in grants, plus $35 billion in favorable loans. The terms for the assistance and loans would be worked out in the legislature.
Child Tax Credit
The president-elect would increase the refundable child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 for children under 18. Children who are under the age of six would also get an additional $600.
Experts believe that the outstanding, past-due mortgage and rental payments are approximately $70 billion. In the Cares Act Extension for 2020, Congress only set aside $25 billion in aid distributed directly to the states. The eviction moratorium was only extended until the end of January 2021.
Biden has promised additional aid for the eviction moratorium. States would receive an extra $30 billion in assistance, with $5 billion set aside for overdue energy and water bills. The funds would expire at the end of September 2021.
“If we don’t act now, there will be a wave of evictions,” stated Biden. It will overwhelm our emergency services and homeless shelters.
State and Local Aid
Democrats desperately tried to pass local and state aid last summer in their Heroes package. Previously, the Democrats wanted $1 trillion in local assistance even though the states still had leftover CARES Act funds.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell obstructed aid, saying the Federal government should not bail out mismanaged local spending and underfunded pension funds.
For CARES Act 2, McConnell proposed giving aid to states on the condition that the Democrats agree to give widespread legal COVID liability protections to corporations. Based on this premise, state and local governments did not receive anything.
Biden desires to reverse this proposed policy by giving aid to the States, hopefully without other poison pills tied to the bill.
Under the American Rescue Plan, state, tribal, and local governments would receive $350 billion in aid. Funds would only go to essential services, like paying for law enforcement and public services.
The bipartisan Congress only approved Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, PEUC, for an additional 11 weeks.
Many states have lost their extended benefits programs because their job markets have improved. Everyone who had exhausted benefits would also get an additional $300 per week on top of the standard unemployment compensation.
With the new stimulus package, Biden would extend the deadline for jobless benefits until the end of September. It may take several months to recover the 10 million jobs lost during the recession of 2020.
The unemployed would also get $400 extra per week instead of the $300 weekly payments to make up for lost wages. However, the funds may or may not be retroactive.
Biden wants to reward work, not wealth, by increasing the federal minimum wage. It has been $7.25 per hour for years. People who work full-time jobs should make a minimum of $15 per hour, a living wage.
Many states have already implemented a higher minimum wage. However, Biden may encounter pushback from Republicans in Congress, stating that fewer people, not more people, will be employed because of this policy.
Vaccine distribution is off to a slow start. The Trump administration promised reserved doses, ready to ship to facilities, but now they are all gone.
Biden wants $400 billion in vaccine and COVID relief going to the states. From the COVID relief package, the Biden administration would hire 100,000 public healthcare workers to administer the vaccines in clinics and stadiums for free.
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