Biden Stimulus Plan Includes $400 Weekly Unemployment Bump

President-elect Joe Biden has proposed a nearly $2 trillion stimulus plan, and it includes a $400 weekly unemployment bump. According to CNBC, the additional unemployment benefit would last through September, and would make up for more than 85 percent of lost wages for the average American worker. The new outlet notes that the new unemployment amount would also mean more money for some citizens around the nation, as certain states have lower unemployment payments than others.

CNBC notes the differences between Louisiana and Massachusetts, as an example. According to data from the U.S. Labor Department, in November, the average Louisiana worker got $183 a week in benefits. Up in Massachusetts, however, the average worker got $491 a week. Currently, states are issuing a $300-a-week federal enhancement to benefits, which was provided by the $900 billion Covid relief law in December. This is set to end in mid-March.

Notably, one thing that has stood out to many is that the plan calls for $1,400 direct payments to Americans, rather than the $2,000 that he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris previously called for. Pre-emptively explaining the disparity, Biden said in his address on the bill, "We will finish the job of getting a total of $2,000 in cash relief to people who need it the most. The $600 already appropriated is simply not enough." This is in reference to the most recent coronavirus relief bill, which provided $600 to most all American individuals and their dependents.

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Speaking about his proposal, Biden stated, "We need to tackle the public health and economic crises we’re facing head-on. That’s why today, I’m announcing my American Rescue Plan. Together we’ll change the course of the pandemic, build a bridge toward economic recovery, and invest in racial justice." The bill will likely be voted on in the House after Biden assumes office, and will then move on to the Senate.