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Tag: 2k checks

Biden Proposes Massive $2 Trillion Pandemic Rescue Plan

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President-elect Joe Biden believes that rescuing the faltering economy and crushing the coronavirus are the most important challenges he faces right out of the gate when taking office on Jan. 20. To address these problems, he proposed a bold and aggressive $1.9 trillion legislative package on Thursday to tackle them head on.

"The US government can borrow money for less than the rate of inflation, which means we owe it to ourselves to borrow, borrow, borrow," said writer Matt Yglesias in praise of the plan. "I'm excited to see a new administration thinking big."

A key question, of course, is whether the plan can pass Congress. It will likely have support in the House, where Democrats are in control, but Biden will be working with the thinnest possible majority in the Senate. And under current rules, a bill typically needs 60 votes to pass the Senate — which would require 10 Republicans to sign on. Biden hopes to convince members of the opposition to join him, but if he can't, his team also has plans to use a procedure known as budget reconciliation to pass the bill with just 51 votes.

Here are seven key features of the plan as it is currently conceived:

1. $600 + $1,400 = $2,000 checks

One of the most popular elements of the first two rounds of COVID rescue funds was direct government payments to individuals and families. After the first round, which sent $1,200 to individuals under a set income threshold, Congress authorized another set of $600 payments starting in December — even though Democrats and President Donald Trump were demanding $2,000. The $2,000 figure became a rallying point in the Georgia runoffs which Democrats won, so Biden plans to follow through on the promise of delivering this amount. But be careful, though — since the $600 has already gone out to many people, the amount individuals will likely receive if the Biden bill passes as proposed will be an additional $1,400, rounding out the combined payments to a total of $2,000.

Some have already begun criticizing the plan for this plank. But it's important to remember it has many other moving parts.

2. Help for unemployed people, hunger, and people at risk of eviction

The plan also increases the federal boost to weekly unemployment payments from $300 to $400 and extends the applicable period to September. Under current law, the payments would run out in March. There's another $25 billion of support for renters and an extension of the eviction moratorium from the end of January to the end of September. People who get support for buying food through programs such as SNAP will also see increased funds.

3. Ramp up a national vaccination program

If the plan passes, there will be $400 billion to fight the coronavirus. These funds will help enact a $20 billion national vaccination plan, which is the best hope the country has of putting the virus behind it quickly. Under Trump, vaccination rates have been slow as states have largely been left on their own to get shots in arms.

4. More COVID testing

There's also $50 billion allocated for expanding COVID testing, which will continue to be crucial until the population approaches herd immunity through vaccination. Biden hopes to be able to have schools open in the spring, which will require widespread and frequent testing.

5. $350 billion for state and local aid

State and local governments have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus downturn since they depend on tax revenues, which have fallen, to keep their budgets balanced. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republicans have resisted calls to provide support for localities, denouncing it as a "blue state bailout" — even though states need help regardless of their politics. Under the Biden plan, $350 billion would be earmarked for these governments,

6. Tax credits

In addition to the direct payments of an additional $1,400, the plan gives extra support to families by expanding select tax credits, as CNBC explained:

The president-elect wants to increase the child tax credit to $3,000 for qualifying children aged 17 and under. Kids under age 6 would be eligible for a $3,600 credit.
Biden is calling to put these expansions into effect for the year on an emergency basis.
In comparison, families can currently claim up to $2,000 per child under age 17.
To further benefit low-income families, Biden also wants to make the child tax credit fully refundable. That means taxpayers get a refund check, even if the credit exceeds their tax liability.

7. $15 minimum wage

It seems unlikely that it will make it into the final version of the plan, but Biden's vision would include a hard-fought progressive goal: raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Hold On! Democrats Plan To Expedite Those $2K Relief Checks

The likelihood of Americans getting $2,000 virus relief checks has risen since Democrats swept the Georgia runoffs on Tuesday to take back the U.S. Senate.

On Wednesday, Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock made history, becoming Georgia's first Black senator after defeating GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed in December 2019 to serve out the remainder of former Sen. Johnny Isakson's term. Democrat Jon Ossoff also triumphed over Republican Sen. David Perdue, who came under scrutiny on multiple occasions last year for several insider trading allegations, which he has repeatedly denied.

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Vandals Spray Pelosi And McConnell Homes With Protest  Graffiti

The homes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were vandalized yesterday with spray paint, fake blood, and a pig's head, according to the Washington Post.

The phrases "WHERE'S MY MONEY" and "MITCH KILLS POOR" were scrawled onto Mitch McConnell's Louisville, Kentucky home, reported The Post.

Pelosi's home was similarly vandalized, with "$2k," "Cancel rent!," and "We want everything" spray-painted across her San Francisco home. A pig's head also sat in a pool of fake blood in front of the Speaker's house, according to local police departments and news organizations.




"I've spent my career fighting for the First Amendment and defending peaceful protest. I appreciate every Kentuckian who has engaged in the democratic process whether they agree with me or not," McConnell said in a statement responding to the vandalism. "This is different. Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society. My wife and I have never been intimidated by this toxic playbook. We just hope our neighbors in Louisville aren't too inconvenienced by this radical tantrum."

Speaker Pelosi has not responded to her home being vandalized.

The news comes as Congress has moved at a snail's pace and increased Covid-19 relief checks have not gained traction in the Senate.

Last week, the US House passed a bill to increase $600 stimulus checks to $2,000, as President Donald Trump pushed for larger checks and some of his close allies in Congress obliged. Though it has the support of the president, McConnell refused to put just $2,000 check on the floor, instead opting to put the increased stimulus with other measures-- like Section 230 reform-- that had virtually no chance of passing. It didn't, as the 116th Congress ended Sunday morning, and Americans will now have to wait even longer for much-needed aid, in addition to the $600 they received.

A new Congress will be sworn in today.