- $1.9 Trillion Total
- Stimulus checks of $1,400 per person in addition to the $600 checks Congress approved in December.
- Moratorium on evictions and foreclosures would be extended through September.
- The federal minimum wage would be raised to $15 per hour from the current rate of $7.25 per hour.
- Guaranteed paid sick leave.
- A $20 billion national program would establish community vaccination centers across the U.S. and send mobile units to remote communities. Medicaid patients would have their costs covered by the federal government, and the administration says it will take steps to ensure all people in the U.S. can receive the vaccine for free, regardless of their immigration status.
- An additional $50 billion would expand testing efforts and help schools and governments implement routine testing. Other efforts would focus on developing better treatments for COVID-19 and improving efforts to identify and track new strains of the virus.
- The child care tax credit would be expanded for a year, to cover half the cost of child care up to $4,000 for one child and $8,000 for two or more for families making less than $125,000 a year. Families making between $125,000 and $400,000 would get a partial credit.
- $15 billion in federal grants to help states subsidize child care for low-income families, along with a $25 billion fund to help child care centers in danger of closing.
- $130 billion for K-12 schools to help them reopen safely. The money is meant to help reach Biden’s goal of having a majority of the nation’s K-8 schools open within his first 100 days in the White House. Schools could use the funding to cover a variety of costs, including the purchase of masks and other protective equipment, upgrades to ventilation systems and staffing for school nurses.
- Public colleges and universities would get $35 billion to cover pandemic-related expenses and to steer funding to students as emergency grants. An additional $5 billion would go to governors to support programs helping students who were hit hardest by the pandemic.
- $15 billion in grants to more than 1 million small businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic, as well as other assistance.
- $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local and territorial governments to help front-line workers.
- $20 billion in aid to public transit agencies.
- $9 billion to modernize information technology systems at federal agencies, motivated by recent cybersecurity attacks that penetrated multiple agencies.
- $690 million to boost federal cybersecurity monitoring efforts and $200 million to hire hundreds of new cybersecurity experts.
The above points condensed from APNews.
Biden wraps up his remarkably optimistic speech — one that made no mention of Trump or last week's riot at the Capitol pic.twitter.com/eguZOvZW41
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 15, 2021
Biden’s Delivery: He came across as sincere and empathetic.
Here are a couple of comments by my readers.
- Realist: The most refreshing thing was that he didn’t spend his 25 minutes telling everyone how great he was. The second thing I liked was that he sounded sincere and showed empathy for his fellow Americans. I also liked that he didn’t comment on Red state Blue State difference. There was no call for his supporters to liberate Texas. What a difference!
- DaveBarnes: It is just so refreshing to listen to a cogent articulate speech. Whether you agree with Biden or Trump, there is a remarkable difference in how they speak to the country.
Biden’s vaccination plan is also worthy of consideration.
Unfortunately, I have issues with nearly everything else. $1.9 trillion is too much and it is not targeted.
Trump wanted to send $2,000 to nearly everyone. Biden embraced the idea and will succeed.
I have a problem sending out blanket checks to people who are working and have not lost a penny to Covid.
Grants and small business loans will be a pile of graft. But some of it may hit the mark as forced closures in many states have some businesses struggling.
I fear $350 billion in emergency funding will find its way into the pension plans of corrupt states like Illinois.
Eviction moratoriums are a two-edged sword. What about landlords who are on the verge of bankruptcy because they cannot kick out the non-payers?
The Downright Terrible
Look no further than point number 4 for the single worst item in the bill.
Not only is a $15 minimum wage a bad idea, Biden could not possibly have picked a worse time to try.
Small businesses were among the hardest hit in the pandemic, and here comes Biden telling these businesses they have to start paying workers $15 an hour.
Jobs in Reverse
Unemployment Claims Jump the Most Since March
Yesterday, I noted Unemployment Claims Have the Largest Increase Since March 2020
Last Friday, I noted the Jobs Recovery Has Gone Into Reverse
The economy is down nearly 10 million jobs since the start of the pandemic.
Are businesses struggling to stay in businesses supposed to go on a hiring spree?
And where does it stop? $15 today will be $20 in a year.
And what about those people making $15 now? When new hires get paid what they do, guess who will demand a raise.
Does Biden want to drive still more jobs overseas? I suppose not, but that will be the result.
Biden made an excellent delivery. If Trump had more empathy and far less self-praise he would probably have been elected.
However, a good delivery of questionable ideas with at least one terrible idea mixed in is not the greatest of starts.
That said, this plan is likely the best we could have expected. I have hopes the minimum wage idea dies in the Senate. It will only take one or two Democrats to kill the worst proposal of the lot.
“We didn’t get into all this overnight,” Biden said of the nation’s twin challenges of the pandemic and recession. “We won’t get out of it overnight. And we can’t do it as a separated, divided nation. The only way we can do it is to come together. To come together as fellow Americans, as neighbors.”
That’s a great speech conclusion. If only his overall plan was as good.