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President-elect Joe Biden released his COVID-19 stimulus plan on Thursday, and it includes $1,400 checks to add to the $600 direct payments provided via the most recent stimulus package — bringing the total distributed amount to $2,000.
This is Biden’s approach to making good on his pledge to provide $2,000 checks to eligible Americans, a popular proposal that gained support from President Donald Trump and House Democrats in December but was rejected by Senate Republicans.
But Biden’s proposal already appears to be generating confusion and anger, as some appeared to expect Biden to include $2,000 direct payments on top of the $600 included in the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill signed by Trump in late December. Just four days ago, Biden tweeted: “We need $2,000 stimulus checks.”
Biden’s plan garnered a fair amount of criticism Thursday:
Sorry but trying to explain that the $1400 adds up to $2000 when including the $600 that already went out is too complicated and there’s no downside to just doing another round of checks for $2000.
— Katelyn Burns (@transscribe) January 14, 2021
How are you really gonna say $2000 and then just change it to $1400 that’s like the time my dad gave me 3 tires for xmas
— Rhea defund police Butcher (@RheaButcher) January 14, 2021
“a $2000 check” is not “a $1400 check plus the $600 check the last guy wrote last year” and I feel like the messaging and therefore reporting on this is designed to make people insane https://t.co/F6zBcBfOwf
— Nathan Bernhardt (@jonbernhardt) January 14, 2021
Joe, we already spent the $600.
$1400 ≠ $2000.
— Sage Young (@sageyoungest) January 14, 2021
The president-elect’s stimulus plan is $1.9 trillion, and on top of $1,400 checks includes $130 billion in funds to reopen schools, $350 billion in state and local assistance, and $400 in weekly federal unemployment benefits through September 2021.
Biden is set to be inaugurated on January 20, and the Senate will then be forced to balance confirming his Cabinet nominees, working on passing another COVID-19 stimulus, and holding Trump’s impeachment trial over the Capitol siege.
Joseph Zeballos-Roig contributed reporting.
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