US President Joe Biden has called for trillions in spending aimed at re-igniting America’s economic growth by upgrading its crumbling infrastructure and tackling climate change. The $2.3tn proposal would direct billions to initiatives such as charging stations for electric vehicles and eliminating lead water pipes. The spending would be partially offset by raising taxes on businesses. Those plans have already roused fierce opposition.
A Congress riven along party lines approved the landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Wednesday, as President Joe Biden and Democrats claimed a major triumph on legislation. Most noticeable to many Americans are provisions providing up to $1,400 direct payments this year to most people and extending $300 weekly emergency unemployment benefits into early September. But the legislation goes far beyond that.
Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9tn coronavirus relief proposal, aimed at urgently combating the pandemic and the economic crisis it has triggered. The ambitious, wide-ranging plan includes $160bn to bolster vaccination and testing efforts, and other health programs and $350bn for state and local governments, as well as $1tn in relief to families, via direct payments and unemployment insurance.
Amazon has become the latest US tech giant to pledge billions of dollars to support affordable housing. The e-commerce giant said it was starting a fund of more than $2bn (£1.47bn) aimed at creating or preserving 20,000 homes across three regions in the US. The effort follows years of rising home and rental prices in the US.
President Trump has signed the Covid-19 relief and spending bill after days of delays, preventing a mid-pandemic government shutdown. Trump blindsided members of both parties and upended months of negotiations when he demanded last week that the package – already passed by the House and Senate by large margins and believed to have Trump’s support – be revised to include larger relief checks and scaled-back spending.
US Senate Republicans have proposed spending an additional $1tn (£776bn) to address the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The plan includes $100bn for schools and issuing stimulus payments of up to $1,200 to most Americans. Under the plan, the payment would replace a $600 boost to unemployment benefits during the pandemic. The proposal sets the stage for negotiations with Democrats who have called it “totally inadequate”.
The new chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, made his public debut Tuesday, saying his expectations for domestic economic growth within the year have increased while maintaining a cautious tone. Powell told the House Financial Services Committee that he is not worried by recent stock issues and is committed to ‘clearly explaining’ Fed thinking.
The House of Representatives approved a measure to relax banking rules which supporters say will help banks grow. The measure frees banks from strict rules that were enacted as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to prevent another financial crisis. Critics of the move believe it will cause a return to reckless lending behavior.
Ignoring warnings from progressives a decade after the 2008 financial crisis, sixteen Democrats joined with Republicans to advance a banking deregulation bill that is expected to pass soon. Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said the bill, which will rewrite parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and intends to provide relief to small and midsize banks, ‘puts the entire economy at risk.’
The record-long U.S. economic expansion is over after almost 11 years, with what’s likely to be the deepest recession in at least eight decades now under way. The world’s largest economy shrank at a 4.8% annualized pace in the first quarter, the biggest slide since 2008 and the first contraction since 2014, as the need to fight the coronavirus forced businesses to close and consumers to stay home.