On Thursday, March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, committing the United States to spend $1.9 trillion on cash payments to individuals and families, extending unemployment, increasing food stamp benefits, and providing aid to states, municipalities, and tribes. The passage of the bill is a remarkable display of the extent of partisan polarization the United States at present. No Republicans voted for the bill, in either chamber of Congress.
In December, while Donald Trump remained in the White House and the Republican Party controlled the Senate, there were discussions of a Covid stimulus. The Senate Republicans and the President split over the appropriate amount. Trump indicated $2,000 should go out to most individuals, but then-Majority Leader McConnell kept the number down to $600.
The Democrats seized on this disagreement to say that the $600 should be regarded as a down payment, and that the remaining $1,400 would be forthcoming under the Biden administration. Part of this package is a making good on that promise.
The Thing to Know:
The Biden administration is operating on the belief that the Obama administration was overly shy about touting its own accomplishments. Accordingly, Americans can expect to hear a lot above the American Rescue Plan in the weeks and months ahead.