American Rescue Plan: Inside Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus

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President-elect Joe Biden announced this week that when he takes office on January 20, 2021, he wants to roll out the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package to help offset the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the economy and left many Americans struggling to pay their bills and support their families. Though there have been two bills passed since the pandemic spread widely in early 2020, Biden announced he wants to pass another bill quickly after he takes office to give more help to the families and businesses that are still having a difficult go surviving this economic downturn. If you want help making sure you are able to protect your finances during the pandemic and beyond, consider working with a financial advisor.

Third Stimulus Plan Benefits for Individuals

The biggest benefit in the Biden’s proposed new stimulus plan would be direct stimulus payments of $1,400 to most Americans. Combined with the $600 check that most Americans got in December, that would bring recent payment totals to $2,000, in addition to the $1,200 many Americans received last summer.

Biden also wants to increase the federal unemployment booster to $400 a week and extend it through the end of September. This is aimed at helping those who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic stay afloat while they search for a new job or wait for their company to reopen, if it is temporarily closed.

For those who are still working, Biden is also proposing the COVID-19 relief bill to permanently raise the minimum wage to $15. This has been a major plank in the platform of progressive activists for several years.

Finally, Biden is proposing making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for this year and increasing the credit to $3,000 ($3,600 for a child under 6).

Third Stimulus Benefits Plan for Society

This bill isn’t focused on small businesses the way the past two have been, possibly because there is still Paycheck Protection Plan stimulus money available to small businesses from the last bill. Still, there are a number of factors that are focused on helping society at large:

  • Extending eviction and foreclosure moratoriums through the end of September 2021

  • State and local government aid totaling $350 billion

  • Education funding (K-12 and higher education) of $170 billion

  • $50 billion for COVID-19 testing

  • A national vaccine program ($20 billion)

The vaccine program would look to increase the vaccine supply and would provide funding to hire a workforce to distribute the vaccine. The money for testing will be used to purchase rapid tests and to expand the capacity of labs to process the results.

The Bottom Line

On January 20, Joe Biden will become president of a country that is not only deeply divided, but one that is still dealing with the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden announced his plan to deal with this, a third stimulus bill that would give direct payments to most Americans and establish various programs to help individuals and society at large. This plan would still have to be passed by Congress, but the Democrats still control the House and will soon take control of the Senate, albeit just barely.

Tips for Surviving the Economic Downturn

  • A financial advisor can help you make the most of the good times and survive the bad times. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool connects you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors, get started now.

  • When times get tough, it might be time to tighten your belt. Consider starting a budget and sticking to it to make sure all of your needs are met.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/LPETTET

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