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This past Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden released summary details of the new coronavirus proposal that his team plans to push for.
The plan contained a lot of items including enhanced unemployment benefits, a minimum wage increase, aid for vaccine distribution, and also stimulus checks.
As this was just the summary, we still don’t know the exact language that the legislation will have but we have a pretty good idea of what it will include.
The stimulus checks included in the proposal are for $1,400 but this has a lot of people, including some lawmakers, unhappy. Some even believe that Biden was not forthcoming in his support for the amount of the stimulus checks.
During the contentious months of November and December, Biden was a pretty vocal proponent of bigger stimulus checks. Along with President Trump, he consistently voiced support for larger checks going out.
And most recently, right before the Georgia runoff elections, he spoke specifically on $2,000 checks.
“If you send Jon and the Reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door,” Biden said on the day before the special elections.
“And if you send Sens. Perdue and Loeffler back to Washington, those checks will never get there. It’s just that simple. The power is literally in your hands.”
Some people feel that Biden was explicitly supporting $2,000 checks in addition to the $600 checks that had already gone out in order to score some political points but has now backtracked now that the elections are over with.
“$2,000 means $2,000,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said.
“$2,000 does not mean $1,400.”
Personally, I do think that Biden should have been a little bit more clear about what he meant by $2,000 checks.
In a separate interview, he called the $900 billion stimulus deal that contained the $600 checks a “down payment” so I don’t think he has been completely inconsistent.
But because he was not specific enough, I think people are justified in calling him out.
The thing to remember is that while Democrats have control of the Senate, they still will likely need 10 votes from the GOP to pass the relief legislation.
(They could go another route that requires only a simple majority but Biden has shown he does not support that route.)
If Biden authorized or pushed for an additional $2,000 check, it could be much harder to get those vital 10 votes from the GOP.
And the last thing that we want is another protracted battle in Congress where it takes months and months to get much-needed aid out the door.
So while I do think people are justified in feeling a little bit duped by the president elect and his team regarding the amount of the checks, I think the Biden team is probably making the right call by not pushing for huge checks that would cause a difficult battle to wage in Washington.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.