By: Danielle Ong
Hopes for another coronavirus stimulus package are reviving following Joe Biden’s win against Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election.
Democrats and Republicans have been at odds over the size and scope of the package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have renewed their calls for a relief package.
The Republican senator from Kentucky last week said he wants a package passed before the start of 2021, but it’s unclear whether a deal can be reached before Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, CNBC reported.
President-elect Biden advocated for several economic policies in response to the coronavirus during his campaign. Here are some of the provisions the Biden administration might include in the next coronavirus relief bill:
Biden’s administration would initiate the sending of additional economic payments to families “should conditions require.” It is unclear how much the stimulus checks would be worth. It is also not clear what the qualifications will be to receive direct payments.
Single taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is over $99,000 and heads of households with an AGI above $146,500 may not be eligible for the stimulus checks. It’s likely that married couples who make more than $198,000 a year will not be eligible for direct payments, CNET reported.
Weekly Unemployment Benefits
Biden will work with Congress to push legislation that revives and extends the $600 weekly federal unemployment payment for “however long the pandemic lasts.” The enhanced unemployment benefit expired at the end of July.
COVID-19 Testing and Treatment
Biden has advocated for making testing, treatment and an eventual vaccine free for everyone, regardless of immigration status.
He also has said the federal government is obligated to cover the cost of COBRA insurance for people laid-off during the pandemic. Biden would also open a new Obamacare enrollment period.
On his website, Biden said he wants to forgive a minimum of $10,000 of federal student loan debt per individual.
President-elect Biden also advocated for increasing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by 15% during the pandemic to ensure American families’ food security. Low-income families would be given $100 monthly.
Funds for Local, State and Tribal Governments
Biden aims to provide additional funds for communities to improve their public health response without the need to cut their funding for public services, education and public safety.
Biden wants to freeze rent for qualifying individuals and temporarily suspend foreclosures and evictions during the coronavirus crisis.