Stimulus: Biden unveils $1.9 trillion 'rescue plan' including direct payments and extra $400 in unemployment benefits

President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package that includes direct payments to Americans, a $ 15 minimum wage, aid to small businesses, and a national vaccination program.
“While the bipartisan action by Congress in December was a step in the right direction, it was just a deposit. The resources needed to cope with the immediate crisis were far from lacking, ”the statement on the details of the plan read. "We are in a race against time and without additional government support the economic and health crises could worsen in the coming months."
The $ 1.9 trillion legislation includes $ 350 billion for state and local governments as well as expanding key unemployment programs, helping small businesses, in addition to the $ 600 due to expire this spring Increase tax credits for low and middle income families and $ 160 billion for a national program of vaccinations and testing.
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US President-elect Joe Biden holds his face mask in his hand as he answers media questions about the Covid-19 pandemic at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware on January 8, 2021. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images)
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The $ 2,000 direct payments would be an increase over the currently distributed direct payments of $ 600, meaning eligible Americans would potentially receive an additional $ 1,400 (plus $ 1,400 for each dependent). The legislation would also extend the additional dependents bonus from any dependent under the age of 17 to any dependent of any age.
The additional weekly unemployment benefit amount would be increased from the current $ 300 per week to $ 400 per week. Biden's plan would also extend these benefits until September - currently the additional benefit expires on March 14th. Under his plan, Biden would also extend the program that provides unemployment benefits to workers who are normally not eligible for regular benefits.
Read more: What to do if you haven't received your stimulus check
The plan provides for a federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until the end of September. Biden's proposal would also increase the child tax credit and widen the eligibility requirements for the earned income tax credit. It would also allocate billions of dollars to food insecurity.
Biden also plans to roll out a second stimulus plan in the coming weeks that aims to create jobs and fight climate change.
"A bill has the chance to be examined in the Senate."
Biden's proposal comes less than a month after the final $ 900 billion deal was signed after months of negotiations. Democrats first came to the table with their $ 3.4 trillion HEROES bill, while the GOP tabled a $ 1 trillion HEALS bill this summer. Many of the provisions in these two proposals have been shortened or omitted.
While the House had previously passed two versions of the HEROES bill that never made it to the Senate, now that they will control both houses, the Democrats could put the legislation to the vote.
"All that seems obvious is that a bill can be considered in the Senate," Mark Harkins, a former congressional fellow and senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute in Georgetown, told Yahoo Money. "I hope that all senators will weigh the economic situation at this point and cast their votes accordingly instead of supporting or rejecting it based on their party label."
Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.
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Stock market highs, booming real estate, and millions of unemployed: A story of two Americas amid the coronavirus pandemic
House and Senate pass a $ 900 billion stimulus agreement
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