Biden signs executive order to get stimulation checks faster – Forbes Advisor
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As Congress prepares to consider President Joe Biden’s third stimulus package, Biden today signed executive orders to make it easier for Americans to receive existing pandemic aid.
Actions reflect Biden’s goal American rescue plan, which aims to provide $ 1.9 trillion in economic assistance to U.S. workers, schools, businesses and governments.
“Those [executive] actions are not a substitute for comprehensive legislative relief, ”White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said in a briefing today. “But they will provide a vital lifeline for millions of American families.”
Today’s orders focus on providing stimulus payments, ensuring access to food, and protecting American workers during the pandemic. Here’s what you need to know about the orders the president has signed.
Speed up stimulus payments and streamline pandemic aid
Biden calls on the US Treasury to improve the distribution of Economic impact payments (better known as stimulus payments) in the following way:
- Create online tools to claim payments
- Conduct additional outreach efforts to ensure households that do not file taxes know how to get stimulus payments
- Speed up delivery to the roughly 8 million people who have yet to receive their stimulus payments
The Biden administration will establish a network of benefit delivery teams to distribute pandemic-related relief, including unemployment benefits and business loans. The network will coordinate federal and state programs to streamline aid delivery.
Biden is also asking the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to consider suspending federal collections. This means that during the remainder of the pandemic, veterans would not need to pay off the debts they incurred while participating in VA programs.
About 13% of Americans face food insecurity, according to data from the US Census Bureau. Biden is asking the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to do the following to help address the hunger crisis in the United States:
- Increase the amount families can receive to cover the cost of school meals their children miss due to facility closures. Currently, households receiving the Electronic Pandemic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) receive up to $ 5.70 per child per school day. Biden is asking the USDA to increase the benefit amount by about 15% to more closely match the cost of meals and make it easier for beneficiaries to obtain their benefits.
- Increase the amounts of the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for low-income households. It would benefit around 12 million recipients, Deese said in a briefing today.
- Update the USDA Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to determine the benefits of SNAP, to better reflect today’s food costs.
Protect American workers
Biden is asking the Labor Department to clarify that workers may still be eligible for unemployment if they turn down a work opportunity that could put their health at risk during the pandemic. This would be federal protection, according to a White House press release.
Biden is also asking the Office of Personnel Management for recommendations on implementing a minimum wage increase for federal employees and contractors to $ 15 an hour. The current federal minimum wage is $ 7.25.
White House says America can’t wait for another aid package
It will take negotiations for Congress, especially with the slim Democratic Senate majority, to agree on a version of Biden’s US bailout. The acts signed today, administration officials say, are a way forward during the inevitable period of debate among lawmakers.
“If we don’t act now, we’ll be in a much worse situation and we’ll have to do a lot more to dig a much deeper hole,” Deese said.