WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden is expected to get his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan passed as quickly as possible. White House National Economic Council Director said Friday the Biden administration plans to discuss the need for economic stimulus with a group of senators on Sunday.
The trillion dollar package includes $1,400 stimulus checks for most Americans.
With a Democrat-controlled Congress and president, the overall plan has a narrow, but good chance of passage. However, one Republican member of Congress has suggested a new idea for the plan.
Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio has the idea of giving stimulus payments to Americans who’ve received the coronavirus vaccine, a spokesperson confirmed to NewsNation. AnnMarie Graham said the idea is “in the very early stages.”
Rep. Stivers believes it’s time to get creative and explore ways to encourage more folks to get vaccinated so that we can build herd immunity and get our economy back up and running at full speed. There is no draft at this point, but Rep. Stivers does not intend to include children and would include an exemption for those who are not able to take the vaccine for medical reasons. He also plans to include indemnifying anyone who takes the vaccine against any future medical issues related to the vaccine.AnnMarie Graham, , Rep. Stivers Spokesperson
The checks are part of a complex and layered plan that includes increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expanding paid leave for workers and increasing tax credits for families with children.
The Biden administration has yet to provide a timeline for getting its proposed relief package through. At this point, it appears February would likely be the earliest Americans could see a package approved.
Once approved, the U.S. Department of the Treasury could distribute checks in a matter of days. They’ve improved the processing speed substantially from the first round of $1,200 checks to the more recent $600 payment.
It’s also unclear if impeachment proceedings against the former president could delay the process. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to send the article of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, launching the start of the former President Donald Trump’s trial on a charge of incitement of insurrection over the deadly Capitol riot.
The trial is then expected to begin Tuesday in the Senate, which could pull some attention away from the package.
The coronavirus relief plan comes as the nation grapples with a new wave of coronavirus cases. So far, new viral infections remain high, averaging about 200,000 a day. The number of deaths in the United States from COVID-19 surpassed 400,000 Tuesday.
Under Biden’s multipronged strategy, about $400 billion would go directly to combating the pandemic, while the rest is focused on economic relief and aid to states and localities.
About $20 billion would be allocated for a more disciplined focus on vaccination, on top of some $8 billion already approved by Congress. Biden has called for setting up mass vaccination centers and sending mobile units to hard-to-reach areas.
Nexstar Media Wire contributed to this report.