Biden to Reveal High-Priced Stimulus Plan This Week With $2,000 Checks

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Here's what the Biden administration has planned for coronavirus stimulus.

Just a short time ago, in late December, lawmakers passed a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill that expanded unemployment benefits and provided $600 checks for most Americans. While Democrats signed onto the bill after months of wrangling to find a compromise with Republicans, many on the left voiced strong concerns that it wasn't enough to help see people through these troubled times.

With President-elect Joe Biden set to take office shortly and with Democrats winning control of the U.S. Senate, it's almost certain more coronavirus stimulus aid will be a top priority. In fact, Biden indicated he plans to lay out his proposed aid package in detail this week -- and that it will include $2,000 stimulus checks.

Here's what's likely to be in Biden's stimulus plan

Biden has given several clues as to what might be included in his proposed stimulus plan, although he was short on specifics when discussing it at a recent press conference.

The president-elect's proposal will be far larger than the recent stimulus package, with Biden indicating the legislation is likely to cost trillions of dollars. “The price tag will be high," he said. He went on to justify the need for more relief by commenting that "The overwhelming consensus among leading economists left, right, and center is that in order to keep the economy from collapsing this year, getting much, much worse, we should be investing significant amounts of money right now."

The trillions of dollars that may be spent on the new bill are expected to be allocated to $2,000 stimulus checks, which Biden made a campaign issue when Democrats were aiming to win Senate control in two runoff contests in Georgia this January.

Biden's bill is also likely to include:

  • Extended and expanded unemployment benefits. These are likely to go beyond the extra $300 per weekly benefits provided by the recent $900 billion bill to provide more money for the jobless.
  • Aid to state and local governments. Money will probably be earmarked to help states cope with huge coronavirus-related expenses and a decline in revenue. This was left out of the last bill because many on the right strongly object to it as a "blue state bailout."
  • Money for vaccine distribution and schools. The last relief bill also addressed these priorities, but Biden's will likely provide more funding.
  • Rent forbearance. Eviction protections were included in the last bill as well, but the next relief package may provide even more assistance.
  • Help for small businesses. While the last bill offered a renewal of the Paycheck Protection Program, Biden's plans may go even further and are expected to focus on helping companies in low-income communities.

Biden is expected to provide more details this week, and the administration has already begun talks with Democrats on a proposed bill in hopes of quickly moving a relief package to Congress for a vote.

However, any legislation will need 60 votes in the Senate to pass, while the Democrats hold just 50 of the 100 seats. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will cast the tie-breaking vote in the event of an even split. It's possible that Democrats will be able to use a procedure called reconciliation to pass their coronavirus relief plan with a bare majority of 51. But they can't afford any defections from the Democrats if they hope to do that as they're unlikely to win much Republican support for a multi-trillion plan that includes some of the Democrats' key policy priorities.

Americans who are hoping for more money in their bank accounts should watch for news of Biden's proposal carefully, and when it is released, can share their feelings on the plan by contacting their members of Congress.

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