President Biden Introduces Historic Bill As a Response to COVID-19
March 17, 2021
Among a historic amount of executive orders from the new administration, President Biden has once again made history for his response to COVID-19. On January 22, 2021, the House Budget Committee advanced a bill with a 19 to 16 vote. This bill is known as Biden’s 1.9 trillion-dollar stimulus bill.
The bill has many implications. If passed before March 14, the bill would extend certain employment benefits and use its vast budget to supplement multiple programs. These programs include increasing unemployment payments towards gig-based workers and self-employed workers to August 29, 2021.
President Biden addresses the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill on February 5 (Photo obtained from vox.com)
The bill seeks to establish a 1,400 dollar stimulus check per person, specifically those who make up to 75,000 dollars annually and couples making up to 100,000 dollars annually. Furthermore, on aid during COVID-19, the bill seeks to establish unemployment insurance priced at 400 dollars per week. In addition, assistance will also be given to those with children in the household under this bill. The maximum amount these individuals can receive is 3,600 dollars per child.
Although the previous actions have been wanted ever since the pandemic started, the bill also includes a controversial act that would raise the federal minimum wage to 15 dollars per hour in 2025. Over the years, the minimum wage has risen because of initiatives by states. However, the installment of a 15 dollar federal minimum wage is not just a significant step up from the previous 7.25 minimum wage. Still, it also dictates that all states have to set a minimum wage equal to or above the aforementioned 15 dollars.
Regarding aid in the medical field, the bill also devotes a large amount of money to the field. First, to increase the emerging vaccines, 20 billion dollars have been allocated towards a national COVID-19 vaccination effort. Secondly, 170 billion dollars have been given to assist the reopening of K-12 schools. Also, 350 billion dollars have been given to support local, state, and tribal governments.
Overall, this historical and expansive bill can be seen as appropriate considering recent world events, however with a senate that is only a majority via Kamala Harris, will Biden’s financially comprehensive bill be successful?
Although Senate Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi are hopeful for the bill to pass, she has expressed that she will fight for a wage increase if needed.
If this minimum wage hike increases, then Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, and many others backing this aspect of the bill will need at least 50 people to vote yes within the Senate to add a historic change to employment similar to how Biden has set a historical precedent for spending with his COVID-19 aid agenda.