Biden’s American Rescue Plan


Violet Flanagan, Journalist

The US has had a rough, confusing year that ended with many people out of jobs or housing because of the pandemic. However, it looks like the American public might finally have some good news coming in. President-elect Biden 

has just announced his 1.9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan with a focus on helping families with $2,000 stimulus packages and increased unemployment.

MSN reported that his proposal includes more than $1 trillion going into direct relief for families, like the stimulus and unemployment mentioned before, and $440 billion for communities and businesses in need of aid. $400 billion will also go to provisions to fight COVID with vaccines and testing as schools start to reopen. Lastly, $350 billion will be put into emergency funding for state and local governments.

President-elect Biden and VP Kamala Harris at the announcement speech

His request for such a huge amount of money had varied reactions. Although many agree that this is what people desperately need, others are concerned about increasing the national debt.

During his prime time address, Biden stated his thoughts on why spending this money is necessary.

 “In this moment of crisis, with interest rates at historic lows, we cannot afford inaction,” he said. “It’s not just that smart fiscal investments, including deficit spending, are more urgent than ever. It’s that the return on these investments — in jobs, in racial equity — will prevent long-term economic damage and the benefits will far surpass the costs. A growing number of top economists has shown that even our debt situation will be more stable — not less stable — if we seize this moment with vision and purpose.”

Biden receiving the COVID vaccine

There are also other aspects to his plan that will impact the country well beyond COVID. A core component of the plan is a federal $15 minimum wage. He also said that there would be no more separate minimum wage requirements for workers who receive tips or workers with disabilities. The $15 minimum wage is predicted to receive pushback from Congress. 

In his speech on Thursday Biden said, “No one working 40 hours a week should live below the poverty line. People tell me that’s going to be hard to pass. Florida just passed it – as divided as that state is – they just passed it. The rest of the country is ready to move as well.”

“I know what I just described will not come cheaply,” he concluded, “but failure to do so will cost us dearly.”