Biden proposes $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill

Washington DC - President-elect Joe Biden announced a $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus proposal which includes funding for a national vaccine program and $1,400 cheques for many Americans.

President-elect Joe Biden will assume office on Wednesday, January 20.
President-elect Joe Biden will assume office on Wednesday, January 20.  © imago images / ZUMA Wire

"While Congress’s bipartisan action in December was a step in the right direction, it was only a down payment," Biden's transition team said in a statement.

"We are in a race against time, and absent additional government assistance, the economic and public health crises could worsen in the months ahead; schools will not be able to safely reopen; and vaccinations will remain far too slow."

The stimulus proposal comes weeks after the Congress passed a nearly $900 billion stimulus bill, which boosted unemployment benefits and gave many Americans $600 in relief monies.

The US economy is seeing signs of slowing recovery with rising unemployment claims and a surging coronavirus pandemic that has overwhelmed some health systems.

But Biden's proposal is likely to be met with some Republican opposition since it also includes Democratic policy priorities like a minimum wage hike.

The plan outlines $160 billion for the vaccine program, $170 billion towards reopening schools, and $1 trillion towards direct assistance including unemployment benefits among other spending.

"President-elect Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is ambitious, but achievable, and will rescue the American economy and start beating the virus," the Biden transition team said.

"Congress should act expeditiously to help working families, communities, and small businesses persevere through the pandemic."

Cover photo: imago images / ZUMA Wire

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