Biden Unveils COVID Relief and Stimulus Plan

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Feb 14, 2022

On January 14, President Joe Biden delivered public remarks in which he detailed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal, the American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan will be the first piece of Biden’s two-part response to the pandemic. Details regarding the second piece, the Build Back Better Recovery Plan, are expected to emerge in the coming weeks.

The President’s American Rescue Plan includes:

  • Direct payments of $1,400
  • Authorization of an OSHA COVID-19 Standard that would extend to workers not typically covered by OSHA.
  • $400/week in supplemental unemployment benefits through September
  • $350 billion for state and local governments
  • Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour
  • $130 billion to help schools reopen
  • $160 billion in funding for a national program of vaccination, testing, and other coronavirus containment efforts
  • $30 billion for rental and small-landlord support
  • $25 billion for childcare providers
  • Expanded food assistance
  • Expanded child tax credits
  • Expanded medical and family leave

With the proposal set to include a laundry list of Democratic priorities, it will be no small feat for President Biden to shepherd a legislative package through a Congress that Democrats control by only a slim margin. Many portions of the proposal will require 60 votes to pass in the Senate, necessitating Republican support. However, jobless benefits, stimulus payments, and possibly the minimum wage hike could go through with a simple 50-vote majority under a special legislative procedure called budget reconciliation.

Impact on General Dentistry: AGD is closely monitoring the development of additional COVID-19 relief proposals and will be engaging with the new Administration and Congress to advocate for the inclusion of provisions that benefit general dentists, as well as their patients, practices, and staff.