One of US President Joe Biden’s thrusts is to provide Americans access to free vaccination in an effort to reduce the spread of the pandemic. Aside from that, his intention is to give more cash to the people to sail the rough economic waters that the country is experiencing. With the $1.9 trillion monetary stimulus bill called the “American Rescue Plan.”
Significant Elements Of The American Rescue Plan
- $20 billion funds for the national vaccination program
- Provision of added unemployment benefits and stimulus payments
- Doubling the minimum wage to $15 per hour
- Protections against foreclosure and eviction until September 2021
- Expanded and more comprehensive tax credit for low-income workers and poor families
To deal against the ravaging pandemic, Biden is proposing to create a $20 billion national vaccination program. This will include the installment of community inoculation centers and mobile vaccination units. In this way, the immunization program will be able to reach all the areas and sectors in the United States. Everyone is eligible for the vaccination, even those immigrants with no valid immigration status.
The rescue plan is also offering $1,400 stimulus payments (which is a reduction from the $2,000 that Biden promised in early January). The bill will also extend and enhance the unemployment benefits until September this year. Unemployed individuals will get $400 per week throughout the duration. The said proposition is also flexible. It will automatically adjust its validity and amount depending on the economic conditions. Furthermore, moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions will be extended until September.
Biden announced the plan after a report came in, suggesting that the economic recovery sustained a downfall due to the continuing effects of the pandemic in the US economy. During the day that Biden gave his address as the United States President, 3,769 Americans succumb to the COVID-19, and 229,386 new cases of the disease were registered.
“It’s not hard to see that we are in the middle of a once-in-several generations economic crisis within a once-in-several generations public health crisis,” Biden said in his inaugural speech. “A crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight. And there is no time to waste. We have to act, and we have to act now.”
The US President indicated that the $1,400 checks would complete the $2,000 monetary relief for individuals who badly need it. He is implying the $600 payments that started in December last year will still continue to form part of the $2,000 stimulus payment.
For those who are currently employed, the American Rescue Plan would give them emergency paid sick leave–if the latter is not being provided by their employers. In this way, people would stay home when they are sick, effectively reducing the possible contraction of the virus. With the plan, it is expected that the federal minimum wage would increase to $15 per hour from the current rate of $7.25 per hour. Another essential component of the policy is to subsidize health care to give insurance coverages for approximately 30 million Americans who don’t have it.
The economic stimulus plan would also allocate $170 billion for the safe reopening of K-12 schools and colleges throughout the country. Furthermore, it would give $350 billion to fund states and local governments to keep their public workers employed and continue their operations. Another $25 billion is proposed to keep child care services running.
According to Michael Madowitz, a resident economist at the Center for American Progress, child care support and school reopening would have a positive impact on the people.
“That’s life-changing, certainly for every other person and me with kids who have been doing this for six months,” Madowitz said.
The rescue package includes tax credits for families, excluding the additional child care tax credit of up to $4,000 per kid. It would increase the current benefits of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers. Beefing up these tax credit programs will help more people–even those individuals who don’t have any children. Adults with no children can get a maximum benefit of roughly $1,500 from the $538 current benefit.
Madowitz is confident that the extended and expanded benefits of the package are significant enough to aid the US economy.
“Someone has thought really hard about this, which is maybe not the impression that you got from the last White House,” he said.
The economist also said that the rescue package contains “less sexy” but highly crucial provisions, such as the relief for local and state governments.
Meanwhile, economists from the Moody’s Analytics made a commentary that the proposed rescue package “would provide a large boost to the economy.” There’s also a possibility that if implemented properly, the plan would restore the normal employment status of the country by fall 2022.