Biden reveals plan to pump $ 1.5 trillion into pandemic-hit financial system by Reuters
By Jeff Mason and Jarrett Renshaw
WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden will come up with a proposal on Thursday for a stimulus package designed to boost the economy during the coronavirus pandemic with an economic lifeline that could exceed $ 1.5 trillion and help minorities.
Biden campaigned for a promise last year to take the pandemic more seriously than President Donald Trump, and the package aims to deliver on that promise with an influx of resources for coronavirus vaccine adoption and economic recovery.
The new administration will work with Congress on the quick stimulus package after Biden took office on Jan. 20, though Trump’s impeachment threatens to consume lawmakers in the first few weeks.
The stimulus package is priced at over $ 1.5 trillion and includes a $ 1,400 stimulus testing obligation, according to a source familiar with the proposal. Biden is expected to partner with private companies to increase the number of Americans vaccinated.
A significant part of the additional financial resources will be used for minorities. “I think you will see real emphasis on these underserved communities where there is a lot of hard work to be done,” said another interim official.
Biden plans to unveil his package during a prime-time address on Thursday evening, which underscores the seriousness of the subject, but he has to compete for attention with the political drama in Washington.
The Democratically-run House of Representatives voted Wednesday to indict Trump, making him the first president in U.S. history to be indicted twice. Ten of his Republicans joined the Democrats on charges of instigating a riot in last week’s deadly rampage at the Capitol.
The impeachment process threatens to hang at the beginning of Biden’s term of office.
In a statement Wednesday evening, Biden said, “I hope the Senate leadership will find a way to manage their constitutional responsibilities regarding impeachment while working on the nation’s other pressing issues.”
The Democratic president-elect said last week the stimulus package would be in “trillions of dollars”, arguing that spending more early would reduce the long-term economic damage from the pandemic-triggered stoppages.
He also said there would be “billions of dollars” to expedite vaccine distribution, along with money to help reopen schools and for state and local governments to lay off teachers, police officers, and health workers to avoid.
More than 380,000 people in the United States have died of COVID-19 during the pandemic, with 22.7 million infected during that time. Pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions have cost millions of jobs in the United States.
Although Trump supported $ 2,000 checks for Americans even in the last round of stimulus, many of his Republicans failed at the high amount and opted for $ 600 checks instead. Biden may experience additional opposition from Republicans to his efforts, but he will be helped by the fact that his fellow Democrats will control both the House and the Senate.
Biden’s new White House economic advisor Brian Deese told Reuters on Wednesday that the president-elect would urge Congress to adopt immediate stimulus measures and then move on to longer-term economic recovery measures related to health care and infrastructure.
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