Americans might be getting those hoped-for $2,000 economic stimulus checks after all. On Friday, President-elect Joe Biden said in a news conference that he is working on a new federal coronavirus relief package that would include such payouts, as demanded by many U.S. citizens and politicians from both sides of the aisle.
The most recent round of government stimulus included $600 checks for individuals.
"The price tag will be high," Biden said of his plan. He added that this is necessary to avoid economic collapse this year. He will provide more details about his proposal on Thursday, Jan. 13.
Biden also aims to extend unemployment benefits for those who have lost work because of the pandemic. More details of this will presumably be provided in his follow-up next week.
The President-elect's promises came just as the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its December figures. These show that the economy shed around 140,000 nonfarm jobs during the month, far more than the average economist estimate of 50,000.
Much of this is due to the coronavirus, which continues to spread and wreak havoc on both the economy and public health. Biden's package also includes funding for the distribution of the Pfizer (PFE -1.74%)/BioNTech (BNTX 0.83%) and Moderna (MRNA 1.15%) vaccines that were recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat who has broken with his party in the past and is considered something of a swing vote in the soon-to-be evenly divided chamber, indicated that he wouldn't vote in favor of a package that included $2,000 checks. He later walked those remarks back.