December 3, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden has a stimulus plan for the US. Here's what's in it

President-elect Joe Biden has a stimulus plan for the US. Here’s what’s in it


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Biden has already laid out his plan for COVID-19 aid.


Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

After a nail-biter presidential race, President-elect Joe Biden declared victory as the 46th president of the United States Saturday night. While his term won’t start until after the inauguration on Jan. 20, Biden said that on Monday he will meet with “a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisors” to roadmap his plans and policies to fight the coronavirus ahead of taking office on Jan. 20. 

“Our work begins with getting COVID under control. We cannot restore the economy… until we get it under control,” Biden said Saturday night during his speech.

By Friday, the US broke another record, with 132,700 new COVID-19 cases that day, and four consecutive days of more than 1,000 deaths related to the coronavirus.

“More than 20 million are on unemployment. Millions are worried about making rent and putting food on the table,” Biden said Thursday. Our economic plan will put a focus on a path to a strong recovery.”

Part of Biden’s vision includes more stimulus aid. As part of his campaign, Biden created the Emergency Action Plan to Save the Economy, a document that provides insight on the direction he may lean once he takes office. The route to passing another stimulus package before and after the inauguration is projected to be rocky, contentious and extremely partisan.

Biden’s initial plan — which we sum up below — features some elements from the CARES Act, such as stimulus payments for eligible Americans and more unemployment benefits, and envisions new measures to provide additional financial help. Here’s what’s in it.


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Yes, a second stimulus check would make the cut

The CARES Act was the first stimulus package intended to help those financially affected by the pandemic. One of the most popular aspects of the act was the up to $1,200 stimulus check sent out to more than160 million Americans. It caused a jump in household spending, helped millions from slipping into poverty and allowed others to save

Biden’s plan, like the one Trump is backing, will include more direct stimulus payments, but it doesn’t specify how many or for how much, or if any of the qualifications would change. Democrats and Republicans are currently negotiating for more stimulus relief that would include another round of direct payments, but the clock is ticking to get a bill passed, and the results of the presidential elections on Nov. 3 could play a role on the timing of a deal.

Read moreYou don’t have to be a US citizen living in America to get a stimulus check

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Stimulus checks are just the beginning.


Angela Lang/CNET

More unemployment benefits for workers

Lockdowns across cities led to an unprecedented spike in unemployment with more than 20 million people having lost their jobs back in May. To help those unemployed so suddenly, the CARES Act provided a weekly bonus payment of $600 to go on top of the unemployment benefits provided by the states. These extra funds expired at the end of July, and Trump restarted the bonus in August via an executive memo. This temporary relief provided $300 extra for six weeks and has since been exhausted with only a new stimulus package capable of providing more funds. (Here’s every benefit that dries up if the stimulus isn’t renewed.)

Biden’s plan does not go into specifics on how much funding would be available. It does say that a bill would boost unemployment benefits. 

Bigger Social Security checks

There were no measures to Social Security in the CARES Act or other relief packages since then. Biden’s stimulus plan calls for an additional $200 added to the monthly payments to Social Security recipients. 

Federal student loan forgiveness

Included in the CARES Act was a forbearance for student loans. Those individuals who owed money wouldn’t need to make payments or see any interest accrue until the end of September, according to Biden’s stimulus vision. 

Back in August, Trump extended the forbearance until the end of 2020. Biden’s plan goes a different direction by offering a loan forgiveness of a $10,000 minimum. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, outlined a plan to forgive the federal student loan debt back in September.

Other measures included in the plan

Biden’s action plan also includes additional reliefs such as:

  • More money for small businesses
  • Emergency sick leave for everyone who needs it
  • Fiscal relief for states
  • No out-of-pocket money for COVID-19 testing, treatment and an eventual vaccine

For more information on the current stimulus package situation, read how to calculate your stimulus money, why you might receive an EIP card instead of a check and all the reasons your next check could be bigger.



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