President-elect Joe Biden laid out his plan for another $1.9 trillion economic rescue package on Thursday, seeking to combat the economic and health crises stemming from the pandemic.
The stimulus plan is designed to provide another infusion of federal aid for families, businesses and local governments confronting a surge of cases and a weakening economy. Thousands of Americans are still dying from the virus each day and infections are still rising.
Biden's proposal includes:
* A $1,400 top-up for stimulus checks which will bring the total distributed amount from December to $2,000.
* $400 in weekly federal unemployment benefits through September 2021.
* $130 billion in funds to reopen schools.
* $350 billion in state and local assistance.
Biden faces a delicate balancing act in the initial days of his presidency. Democrats are poised to control the full levers of power in Washington for the first time in a decade, but the prospect of a second impeachment trial for President Donald Trump threatens to slow down cabinet confirmations and other parts of his agenda.
There are signs the economic recovery is in danger of backsliding. New data from the Department of Labor on Thursday showed 1.4 million people filed for unemployment last week, a notable jump after the holiday season. Nearly 18 million Americans are still receiving unemployment benefits.
Last week, another government report indicated that the economy shed 140,000 jobs in December, the first time since April.