Newly elected U.S. President Joe Biden announced that he intends to soon introduce a plan to financially help American workers suffering from the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden said that he is aware that many people are being sad and hopeless and that his plan will ‘promptly’ address their issues.
Biden’s coronavirus relief plan is meant to include the US $1.9 trillion.
Out of this sum, the US $1 trillion will be distributed to individuals and families, the US $440 billion will be given to small and middle-sized businesses, while the US $415 billion will be allotted to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program also intends to spend US $50 billion for coronavirus testing and US $20 billion for the national vaccination program.
Republicans oppose huge spending
Yet, Biden’s relief plan faced a significant backlash from the Republican congressmen.
Most of them think that the program will put too much of a burden on public finances, proposing a much less costly plan of the US $618 billion.
In response, President Biden emphasized that there is no other alternative that would not leave people by themselves.
In his CBS interview, Biden also stated that he is particularly pessimistic about the prospects of gradually bringing the minimum wage up to the US $15 per hour, which is also part of the plan.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed her belief that the new measures will be passed by mid-March when President Trump’s US $900 billion relief plan is to expire.
According to the rules adopted on Friday, Biden’s plan would need just above 50 percent of the votes to be accepted by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Covid weakened the economy
The plan arrives in time when around 10 million people are unemployed as a result of a pandemic.
This number presents a twofold increase from the time before the crisis.
Expressing this data in percentages, official statistics show that around 6.3 percent of Americans are unemployed.
However, many experts estimate that the real number of unemployed people is much bigger given the fact that more than 17 million Americans receive unemployment benefits.
Additional 6 million people are employed but work less due to the pandemic.
The major cause of such a strain on the economy is the measures a lot of employers and officials took to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, especially in December 2020 when the U.S. was especially hard hit by the virus.