President-elect Joe Biden introduced a $1.9 trillion spending package Thursday, aiming to speed distribution of the coronavirus vaccines and provide economic relief caused by the pandemic. The package proposal includes investing $20 billion in a national vaccination program, $1,400 stimulus checks and expanding unemployment insurance supplements to $400 per week.
Biden noted that this was the first of a two-part plan to in the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden said that he would introduce a recovery plan next month during his address to a joint session of Congress. Biden’s proposed relief package comes several weeks after Congress passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package in December. Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan will build off the bipartisan relief legislation passed in December.
Biden is suggesting $1,400 stimulus checks in addition to the $600 direct payments passed in December, and his relief package also lays out his vaccine distribution plan. “The vaccine rollout in the United States has been a dismal failure thus far,” he said, adding that he “will have to move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated.” Biden’s goal is to provide 100 million vaccinations during the first 100 days of his administration starting Jan. 20. But the pace has been slower than that so far, with 22 million doses distributed and 6.7 million administered by Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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