November 27, 2020
The US election is today. If Joe Biden wins, he already has a COVID-19 stimulus plan

The US election is today. If Joe Biden wins, he already has a COVID-19 stimulus plan

Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden has a plan for pandemic relief.

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

Election Day is today. President Donald Trump’s administration has paused negotiations with the Democratic party over a new stimulus deal that would provide much-needed funds for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump said Friday a relief package will come soon.

“After the election, we’ll get the best stimulus package you’ve ever seen,” Trump said Oct. 27 in a press briefing, indicating that he would be re-elected. If the results don’t go that way, Trump isn’t the only one with a plan. His opponent, Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden, also has a vision for economic stimulus.

On his website, Biden lays out his Emergency Action Plan to Save the Economy, which is a rundown of what he would do if he were the president right now. Although it’s a speculative overview, the document provides insight on Biden’s policy if he’s elected president before a new stimulus bill passes. 

It includes some elements we saw in the CARES Act, such as stimulus checks for qualified Americans and more unemployment benefits. Biden’s plan also envisions new measures to provide additional financial help. Here’s what’s in it.

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Next stimulus checks: What to expect


More stimulus checks for individuals and families

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 an over 160 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


Stimulus checks are just the beginning.

Angela Lang/CNET

Boost and renew unemployment benefits

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 President 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. 

Increase Social Security payments

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. 

Forgive student loans

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.

Additional measures

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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