Rescue Plan

Todo mundo pendiente del tercer estímulo económico. Photo:

By Isaac Cohen*

With the narrow Democratic majority of 50-49, over the weekend, the US Senate approved the $1.9 trillion Rescue Plan proposed by President Joe Biden. It is called a “rescue plan” for a reason.  The US economy, even after more than $3 trillion of relief approved last year, still needs support to overcome the damages inflicted to economic activity by the pandemic. There are still more than 9 million unemployed and the unemployment rate remains above 6 percent, higher for women, African Americans and Hispanics. The purpose of the Plan is to provide relief after the expiration by the end of this month of the benefits approved in December, to build a bridge until the second half of the year, when vaccinations generate the collective immunity required for economic recovery.

The rescue package includes $1,400 checks for individuals earning less than $75,000 per year, or $2,800 for couples earning up to $150,000 per year, with additional $1,400 per dependent children. The unemployed will receive $300 a week of additional federal support, until September. The package also includes support for vaccinations and medical supplies, more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, school reopening and support for state and local governments, airlines, restaurants and bars, with subsidies for medical insurance. The Plan also includes a year of monthly payments of $300 per child under 5 years old and $250 for ages 6 to 17, which is estimated to cover 93 percent of children at a cost of $100 billion, to reduce child poverty by almost half.

*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.

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