President Biden outlined his “American Rescue Plan” providing further COVID-19 relief to the nation. The proposal provides an additional $1.9 trillion in relief, including an additional $50 billion to small businesses.
At the end of last week, President Biden outlined the contours of the new administration's “American Rescue Plan" to provide further COVID-19 relief to the nation. As outlined, the proposal would provide an additional $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief.
The plan would provide nearly $1 trillion in payments to Americans through an additional $1,400 in stimulus checks to eligible Americans and an increase in federal unemployment aid from $300 a week to $400 a week. The plan would also subsidize COBRA health coverage through Sept. 30, for workers who lost their employer-sponsored health insurance with a 100% tax credit for COBRA coverage premiums.
In terms of its impact on businesses, the plan would provide an additional $50 billion to small businesses through a new federal grant program and investments in state, local, tribal and nonprofit financing programs that make low-interest loans and provide venture capital to entrepreneurs.
Biden's plan would also raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour as well as end the “tipped" minimum wage and the sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities. The proposal would also reinstate the paid sick and family leave benefits that were enacted at the beginning of the pandemic and had just recently expired.
Additionally, the plan calls for $350 billion in funding for state and local governments, $20 billion for a national vaccine program and $50 billion for COVID-19 testing.
As the Biden Administration begins its term with a narrow majority in the U.S. House and a 50-50 split in the Senate, passage of the “American Rescue Plan" will be a top priority for President Biden.
Wyatt Stewart is Big “I" assistant vice president of federal government affairs.