President Biden has assigned a number of executive orders since taking office earlier this week. And today he is scheduled to issue a few more executive orders, including one related to stimulus checks.
The most notable executive order taking place today is probably the request to ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow states to increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
These benefits, which are commonly referred to as food stamps, would be increased by 15%.
There already was an increase of the maximum benefit by 15% but it did not help the 40% of recipients who were already at the maximum benefit.
This new executive order would tell the USDA to “consider issuing new guidance that would allow states to increase SNAP emergency allotments for those who need it most,” according to the White House.
This would result in an additional 12 million people receiving enhanced food stamp benefits.
The next executive order relates to stimulus checks.
This would reportedly streamline the delivery of stimulus checks for those eligible recipients who have not received their check yet.
Presumably, this would also help expedite the third round of stimulus checks if and when those are approved.
The president lacks the spending power to authorize an additional round of stimulus checks (at least according to most experts) so while this executive order will help deliver the checks it will not authorize an additional round.
That is a job reserved for Congress and we currently don’t know what this Democrat-controlled Congress is capable of approving.
We know that Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion relief plan but that relief plan is also a bit of a starting point for negotiations.
It’s very possible that the package could get knocked down substantially in order to get the small number of Republican senators on board to pass it.
That could mean reducing the eligibility and the amount for the next round of stimulus checks although we have not heard a whole lot about the prospects of the next round of stimulus checks in terms of what would be acceptable to Republicans.
But we should learn more as the next week unfolds.
The final executive order will be to improve the collective bargaining power and protections for federal workers.
It will also direct the Office of Personnel Management to develop recommendations to increase the minimum wage for federal employees to $15 per hour.
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