Joe Biden and $1.9T COVID relief package
Is President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. Hence, a critical lifeline to millions of Americans. Basically, still reeling from the financial effects of the pandemic?
Or is it a study in excess — an over-the-top catchall that goes too far. Precisely, in rescuing even those directly affected by the pandemic. While tossing in a grab bag of unrelated social policy initiatives and pork-barrel morsels?
Among other things, the legislation would send another round of checks to most Americans – this time, for $1,400. It would extend a federal bonus to unemployment benefits through August and bump up the amount to $400 per week. And it would provide more aid to small businesses, and set aside $75 billion for COVID vaccinations and treatments.
The bill also expands programs such as the earned income tax credit and Medicaid, rescues teetering pension plans and raises the federal minimum wage to $15 from $7.25.
Critics say the legislation reaches beyond its core mission of COVID-19 relief. In doing so, they say, it risks a spike in inflation that could derail the economic recovery or further swell the nation’s $28 trillion debt, leaving little political will for other vital investments and eventually pushing up borrowing costs for consumers and businesses.