After much back and forth, outgoing President Donald Trump signed the latest stimulus bill. The bill, which was signed on December 27, 2020, provides more than $900 billion in COVID-19 pandemic relief and an additional $1.4 trillion in government spending.
This COVID-19 pandemic relief bill will provide $600 in direct payments to Americans, and the House is set to vote on yet another bill that will give $2,000 direct payments to Americans making up to $75,000 a year.
While the measure was signed well after the Christmas deadline — and miraculously averted a governmental shutdown — this relief is nowhere near sufficient for the average working American whose life and livelihood has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
So the question, obviously, begs itself: will incoming President Joe Biden pass another stimulus bill when he takes office next month?
Joe Biden’s Proposed Stimulus Bill
Joe Biden is aware, perhaps better than anyone, that the current stimulus bill is nowhere near enough to help Americans.
Restaurants are in trouble. The entertainment industry has been decimated. Even state and local governments have reported that they’re in the throes of a deficit that will not be cured barring immediate government intervention.
“Last week, Biden called for more stimulus checks, money to state and local governments, additional funding for testing and vaccine distribution and another extension of expanded unemployment benefits, which will begin to expire in March,” reported NBC News. “Congress did its job” in passing the measure, he said. “It can and must do it again next year.”
What Does This Mean For Working Americans?
Thus far, Biden’s claims of wanting another stimulus bill have been positively received. However, it’s unclear what this third stimulus bill will entail.
What’s clear, however, is that House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is working overtime to get an additional $2,000 into the hands of already-beleaguered Americans.
“If the president is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction,” she said in a statement on December 24, 2020.
“On Monday, I will bring the House back to a session where we will hold a recorded vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000 … Hopefully by then the president will have already signed the bipartisan and bicameral legislation to keep the government open and to deliver coronavirus relief.”
What’s abundantly clear is this: whatever Joe Biden proposes to put in a stimulus bill, Congress needs to act sooner rather than later to prevent Americans from going into financial freefall. The one-time payments are temporary fixes, not permanent solutions.