Cardinal & Pine: ‘We Have to Act’: Biden Announces $1.9 Trillion Relief Package

Last week, President-elect Joe Biden announced a two part, $1.9 trillion relief plan that aims to tackle the many crises COVID-19 has imposed and Trump has failed to tackle, including unemployment, financial aid to struggling families and small businesses, and vaccine production.

Extending the emergency unemployment insurance program, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and aid to reopen schools safely, are just a few of the proposals listed in the plan. This is the latest package after Congress passed a $900 billion relief program in December, and the $2 trillion package in March.

From Cardinal & Pine:

The first part of the relief package, called the American Rescue Plan, is aimed at the pandemic. Along with funding for testing and boosting the vaccine rollout, it would also allocate direct financial assistance to Americans, increase unemployment insurance benefits, and provide direct aid to communities and tribal governments.

“The vaccine roll out in the United States has been a dismal failure thus far,” Biden said. 

On Friday, Biden is expected to lay out his administration’s vaccination plan to achieve his goal of providing 100 million doses in his first 100 days in office. He called on Congress for an additional $400 billion to create a national vaccination program, increase testing, and hire 100,000 community health workers. 

The plan also includes financial help for Americans. Biden outlined an additional $1,400 in stimulus checks for Americans and increases to federal unemployment benefits from $300 to $400 per week. Those benefits extend through March.

Despite the recently passed federal relief bill that extends a nationwide eviction moratorium through January, millions of Americans are on the verge of eviction. In North Carolina, more than 485,000 North Carolinians are behind on their rent and are at risk.

This comes as unemployment claims hit the highest level since July. According to the Labor Department, more than 1.15 million workers filed initial claims for state unemployment benefits during the first full week of the new year.

Biden has inherited a number of crises due to the Trump administration’s incompetence and disregard towards public health and the economy. 

Despite the challenges, Biden’s plan is a step in the right direction in order for the country to heal and get back on its feet. No more will we have elected officials who refuse to listen to experts and health officials in order to protect their seat. 

Bottom Line: Finally, we have an administration that has a grasp on the gravity of the country’s situation and are able to demonstrate competence, honesty and are determined to serve the nation.

Alanna Joyner

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