President-elect Joe Biden is still days away from his inauguration, but he has nonetheless advanced several lofty proposals regarding a promised COVID-19 relief package he wants to see passed shortly after taking office.
New reports, however, have tamped down some of the excitement among Biden supporters of a promised $2,000 direct stimulus payment.
“Simply not enough”
While the former vice president has repeatedly described the higher payment as a desperate need for millions of Americans, the details of his proposed package provide for checks for a much lower amount of $1,400, according to Breitbart.
Biden has apparently combined his proposed payments with the $600 checks already distributed to Americans under the Trump administration to reach the promised $2,000 in relief payments.
Of course, his tweet just days ago was widely interpreted differently.
“$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table,” the president-elect tweeted. “We need $2,000 stimulus checks.”
Reuters provided many of the details from a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package the Biden transition team unveiled on Thursday and that they are seeking immediate congressional approval upon the start of Biden administration.
More unanswered questions
In addition to $1,400 checks to Americans, Biden’s plan calls for expanding the pool of individuals eligible to receive the assistance. The proposal would also increase the federally funded supplemental unemployment insurance payments from $300 per week to $400 — on top of the amount an individual would already be receiving in state benefits.
Another $415 billion is set aside for boosting the nation’s vaccine distribution program and even more is earmarked for relief to small businesses and communities.
To some small business owners, however, the potential relief comes as cold comfort considering a related plan to hike the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The Biden proposal would also extend until September the federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. If successful, reports indicate yet another relief package would be introduced after a few months.
As C/Net noted, there are some unanswered questions circulating around the Biden plan other than the apparent switcheroo regarding a promised $2,000 stimulus check. Among them is uncertainty about whether the additional payment would come as direct deposits and physical checks or merely as a tax rebate when people file their 2021 taxes.