Aides to President-elect Biden say that he will propose another massive pandemic relief bill costing $2 trillion dollars. It will include $2,000 individual checks for taxpayers.
Biden will outline more of the plan later on Thursday, but Senate Democrats are also talking seriously about merging pandemic relief with a completely unrelated infrastructure bill. It’s likely the total cost for both measures together will exceed $3 trillion.
Moreover, Democrats are discussing ways to use budget reconciliation to pass most of their legislation. This would mean the filibuster would be off the table and legislation could pass by a simple majority.
The Biden team is taking a “shoot for the moon” approach with the package, one lawmaker in close contact with them told CNN, though they added that the price tag could still change. The proposal will include sizable direct payments to American families, significant state and local funding — including for coronavirus vaccine distribution and other emergency spending measures — to help those struggling during the pandemic.
Biden is set to announce the details of his plan in Wilmington, Delaware, Thursday evening.
Democrats hold only the slimmest of majorities in the House and the Senate, and Republicans have recently resisted efforts to pass Covid-19 relief on a multi-trillion dollar scale. But Biden’s party believes it may have only a brief window to pass sweeping relief legislation and the President-elect has faced significant pressure from some Democrats to go big.