Biden to sign executive order today to speed up $1,400 stimulus checks and expand food stampsJanuary 22, 2021
PRESIDENT Joe Biden will sign an executive order today to speed up the delivery of $1,400 stimulus checks and expand food stamps.
Biden, who unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, will sign two orders to ease the burden on Americans until legislation is passed in Congress.
Earlier this month, Biden revealed that he is intending to send a third $1,400 stimulus check to Americans as part of the package.
Signing the order on Friday, Biden will ask the Treasury Department to take steps to expand and improve delivery of the stimulus checks, such as setting up online tools for claiming payments.
The $1,400 stimulus check will be added to the $600 checks previously approved by Congress.
"Many Americans faced challenges receiving the first round of direct payments and as many as eight million eligible households did not receive the payments issued in March," a White House fact sheet said.
The president will also sign an order to increase access to food for millions of children who are missing meals due to school closures.
The weekly value of food stamps could be increased for some 12 million families who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
It could provide a family with three children more than $100 of additional support every two months.
"We are at a precarious moment in our economy," Brian Deese, director of the White House's National Economic Council, told reporters, according to the New York Times.
"The American people cannot afford to wait. So many are hanging by a thread."
He said the actions are not a substitute for legislative relief, "but they will provide a critical lifeline to millions of American families".
Biden's second order will restore collective bargaining power and worker protections by revoking three orders issued by President Donald Trump.
It also promotes a $15-an-hour minimum wage – an increase from $7.25.
The order also eliminates a Trump order which allowed federal agencies to move many career federal employees into a category without job protections and put them at risk of being fired.
Some 16 million Americans are now receiving some type of unemployment benefit, and an estimated 29 million don't have enough to eat.
Women, minorities and low-income service workers have been disproportionately impacted, with Black and Hispanic workers facing higher jobless rates than white workers.
The president wants to get cash into the hands of suffering Americans as quickly as possible, sources told Axios earlier this month.
Biden's American Rescue Plan includes $415billion to combat the pandemic, including $160billion for a national vaccination program to push faster rollout of vaccines and expand testing.
Since the plan for $1,400 stimulus checks was unveiled, Americans have been asking when they would get their money.
According to a CBS News analyst, it has been predicted that in a best case scenario the third check could roll in by late February.
Speaking from Wilmington, Delaware, earlier this month Biden said there is "real pain overwhelming the real economy, one where people rely on paychecks, not their investments, to pay for their bills and their meals and their children's needs."
"It's not hard to see that we're in the middle of a once-in-several-generations economic crisis with a once-in-several-generations public health crisis," the president-elect said.
"We have to act, and we have to act now."
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