Arguing that bold, broad actions are needed to pull the economy back onto its tracks, President-elect Joe Biden unveiled his $1.9-trillion “American Rescue Plan” on 14 January.
Key measures include:

  • $20 billion for a national vaccination program, $50 billion for COVID testing, and hiring 100,000 new public health workers;
  • adding $1,400 to the $600 payments given to every American earlier this month, bringing the total payment to $2,000, a figure that both Congressional Democrats and Donald Trump had urged as the previous bailout package was being finalized last month;
  • a $100 increase in the $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit included in December’s rescue bill, raising the payment to $400. Gig workers, the self-employed, and people who have exhausted their state benefits also would receive the payments;
  • $25 billion in rental assistance for low-wage earners and the unemployed, doubling the $25 billion for the purpose Congress allotted last month. Another $5 billion would help renters pay their utility bills;
  • $350 billion in aid to the state, local, and territorial governments, plus $20 billion to the hardest-hit public transit agencies;
  • extending the federal ban on evictions, due to expire 31 January, through September;
  • extending the 15-percent expanded food stamp benefit from the end of June through September;
  • subsidizing health insurance premiums through September for people who lost health insurance when they lost their jobs;
  • expanding the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit for a year;
  • raising the minimum hourly wage to $15 and eliminating lower minimum wages for workers collecting tips.

Many of the initiatives were included in Democrats’ version of the rescue plan negotiated last year. Senate Republicans negotiated a less-expensive compromise.
Now, with Democrats controlling the House, Senate, and presidency, Biden has decided to reprise the push for more expansive relief.
TREND FORECAST: While negotiations in Congress over Biden’s provisions are likely to reduce the result from the $1.9 trillion proposed package, with Democrats in control of Congress, Biden will get what he wants. 
Should the stimulus number decline from its current level, it will be temporary, since the harshest downturn of the COVID War will be felt in the next two months. This economic slump will prompt Washington to pump in more stimulus. 
And, when the U.S. equity market bubble bursts, yet bigger money pumping by both the Federal Reserve and the government will be injected to artificially prop them up. This, in turn, will drive precious metal prices higher as the dollar weakens. 

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