Biden to unveil economic plan
Funds to revitalize economy amid virus onslaught
Published: Jan 14, 2021 06:08 PM

Joe Biden Photo: VCG

US President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday was expected to unveil his plan to revive the US economy, as evidence mounts that its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is flagging despite trillions of dollars in government spending.

With his fellow Democrats narrowly controlling both houses of Congress, Biden appears to have a good shot at passing a third massive rescue package that could include everything from another round of stimulus payments to tax hikes on the rich to an increase in the minimum wage.

"We need more direct relief flowing to families [and] small businesses, including finishing the job of getting people the $2,000 in relief," Biden said last week, referring to the last package that provided payments of $600 in direct payments.

The funds could help revitalize a recovery that appears to be buckling under the weight of the nationwide surge in ­COVID-19 cases. 

The latest government data shows the economy shedding jobs in December and weekly layoffs continuing at a pace above the worst of the 2008-10 global financial crisis.

Biden will take office on Wednesday after a tumultuous transition that saw violent supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump invade the US Capitol as lawmakers were meeting to certify the Democrat's election victory.

Biden's stimulus is likely to build on the two massive relief packages Congress approved in 2020, and include an extension of unemployment benefits that have helped tens of millions of people pay their bills after losing their jobs during the pandemic.

He pledged last week to provide aid to US municipalities that may have to fire thousands of teachers, police officers and firefighters across the country, and more help for small businesses, especially minority-owned firms.

The president-elect called the $600 stimulus checks included in the aid package approved in the final days of December "simply not enough," and said he will push to raise the payments.

But with only the slimmest of majorities in Congress, Democrats will have to woo some Republicans if any in their party break ranks.
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