Friday, January 15, 2021

Joe Biden's "American Rescue Plan"

The $1.9 trillion "American Rescue Plan" unveiled yesterday by the incoming Biden-Harris administration looks like the ambitious, "go bold" approach to addressing the pandemic and economic devastation so clearly missing over the past year:

Biden administration officials unveiled the details of a sprawling $1.9 trillion rescue package on Thursday, proposing an extensive response to the coronavirus pandemic and its devastating grip on the nation’s economy.

The Biden plan directs roughly $400 billion to fighting the public health crisis, including through a national vaccination program, scaling up testing and contact tracing and providing paid sick leave to contain the virus’s spread, senior Biden administration officials told reporters ahead of the speech. To fill the lingering holes in the economic recovery, the plan also includes more than $1 trillion in direct aid to struggling families by increasing stimulus checks to $2,000, extended unemployment insurance, rental protections and nutrition assistance. The Biden proposal also allocates $440 billion to small-businesses, local communities and transit systems on the brink.

Under the plan, money would  be provided specifically for schools to reopen, a $15/hr. minimum wage, an expanded child tax credit, money for tribal communities hit hard by the pandemic, and money to cash- strapped state and local governments to keep front-line workers paid.

With Democrats now in control of the Senate, and the urgent need to provide immediate relief, the chances of this passing Congress in large part are significantly better than they were 10 days ago (thank you, Georgia!).  This is the kind of robust government, one interested in meeting peoples' needs, that we've needed so much but which has been thwarted by Republican obstruction and a slavish attention to the needs of the 1 percent.

BONUS:  Well, look who might be on board with the plan --


That's a signal to Republicans (and any conservaDems thinking of bucking the party) who have a sudden aversion to deficits after 4 years of re- directing money into corporate coffers.  We need to keep an eye out, though, for any signs of special interests making major alterations to the plan, as they will certainly try to do.  A $1.9 trillion budget is a big inducement to playing games, so Democrats need to be disciplined and show they can produce.

BONUS II: (h/t Balloon Juice) --




No comments: