Written By Joseph Bickel
President Joe Biden revealed his COVID-19 relief plan called the American Rescue Plan. The hope is that the American Rescue Plan will sustain U.S. families and firms until the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available. The total cost of Biden’s plan is $1.9 trillion. The Biden team is trying to convince the United States that the cost is a bargain compared to the potential damage to the U.S. economy.
Here’s what the American Rescue Plan calls for:
Direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans
Increasing the federal, per-week unemployment benefit to $400
Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
$350 billion in state and local government aid
$170 billion for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education
$50 billion toward a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities, and tribes
When asked about their view on Biden’s relief plan, Alyssa Vandiver, a Junior at Pleasure Ridge Park High School stated “I am excited about his new plan! I think it’s really essential, especially in a time like this.”
Biden also has proposed another bill that will tackle the President’s long term goals for creating jobs, combating climate change, and advancing racial equity. Biden states “The crisis of human suffering is in plain sight, and there’s no time to waste” However, the nearly $2 trillion relief bill will more than likely make people wary of spending even more after December’s $900 billion.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki states that Biden recognizes the importance of speaking directly to the American people about his plan for vaccinations and supporting the economy, but the pandemic has limited his ability to safely travel. Despite Biden’s calls for unity, Democrats said the stubbornly high unemployment numbers and disfigured U.S. economy leave them unwilling to spend time courting Republican support that might not coalesce.
“Many families in America were/are really suffering through the pandemic.” Natalie Harris, a Sophomore at Pleasure Ridge Park High School said. “I believe that the COVID-19 relief plan should’ve happened sooner, It would’ve helped so many families before their living conditions got worse.”
Many Congress workers believe that Biden should keep with his plan of unity. Republican Sen. John Barrasso said Biden should stick to what he outlined in his inaugural address, especially with the current evenly split Senate. “We have learned from past crises that the risk is not doing too much,” Biden said. “The risk is not doing enough.”
Franck, Thomas. Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief plan calls for stimulus checks, unemployment support, and more. CNBC: Jan 14, 2021
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus. Disease 2019 (COVID-19.) CDC: Jan 29, 2021
Mascaro, Lisa & Boak, Josh. Biden taking ‘creative steps’ to push for $1.9T aid plan. Startribune: Jan 29, 2021