Saying “in this Pandemic and America, we can not let people go hungry. We can not let people get evicted, We can not let nurses, educators, and others lost their jobs,” President-Elect Biden unveiled the first part of his Rescue and Recovery Plan for the Nation: The American Rescue Plan.
With four thousand people dying a day and the nation’s job numbers deteriorating, the Biden/Harris team described the provisions of the first part of their economic program.
What is in the American Rescue Plan?
Accompanied by Vice President-Elect Harris, President-Elect Biden, saying “There’s no time to waste. We have to act. We have to act now,” unveiled a just under two trillion dollar economic plan that includes:
- $1400 cash payments to qualifying Americans. This, along with the $600 agreed to at the end of the year, would give eligible Americans a total of $2000 in direct payments.
- Extended and greater unemployment insurance payments.
- Housing and renters assistance.
- Monies to combat food insecurity.
- Increased funding for child care assistance.
- Increased funding to reopen schools according to COVID 19 health and safety guidelines.
- A public jobs health program.
- A National Coronavirus Vaccine Program.
- Emergency Paid Leave.
- Expanding the Child and Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Small Business Assistance.
- Additional aid to state and local governments.
- Increasing the Minimum Wage to $15.00 an hour.
Mr. Biden would like to pass this legislation with both Republican and Democratic Votes.
However, he is also prepared to go the budget reconciliation route (a road that only requires 51 votes) to secure passage should Republicans prove obstructionist.
In addition to bringing Republicans on board, the incoming Biden/Harris Administration will have to satisfy the conflicting needs and concerns of the Progressive and Centrists wings of the Democratic Party.
Progressives want more programs like the Corey Booker/Arianna Pressley Baby Bonds proposal that would give every American child a thousand dollar bond at birth that they can access at 18.
Conservative-Centrist Democrats like Joe Manchin want more narrowly targeted cash payments to qualifying Americans and a greater emphasis on producing, distributing, and administering the COVID 19 vaccine.
The Second Part of the Biden/Harris Rescue and Recovery Plan.
When delivering his remarks, President-Elect Biden said he would unveil his Build Back Better Recovery Plan during his first address to Congress after he is sworn in.
He said that plan would make investments in:
- Research and Development.
- Clean Energy.
- Caregiving Economy.
- Education and career/skills preparation.
Trying to work out an agreement with Republicans is commendable but most political observers saw this movie in 1993 and 2009 when most members of the former Party of Lincoln decided to vote against both the Clinton and Obama economic recovery measures.
News reports reveal that Biden is not naive about his outreach prospects and Democrats are already preparing for the possibility that they have to use the reconciliation route to pass the Rescue and Recovery Program.
However, Senate Parliamentary rules only allow Senators one opportunity per calendar year to pass a bill through reconciliation.
Do not be surprised if the Rescue and Recovery Biden/Harris Plan, after much negotiating among Democrats, is passed in one large multitrillion-dollar measure.