(Reuters) - President-elect Joe Biden is proposing a $1.9 trillion spending proposal aimed at boosting the coronavirus vaccine program while providing economic relief to millions of Americans hurt by the pandemic.
The following is an overview of the details:
* The plan aims to achieve three broad goals - bolstering the COVID-19 response, which accounts for more than $400 billion; providing more direct relief for U.S. households, about $1 trillion; and supporting businesses and the communities most affected by the pandemic, about $440 billion.
* Proposes $160 billion in spending for a national vaccination program, more rapid testing and expanding testing laboratories; create community vaccination centers targeted at hard to reach areas; and mobilize a public health jobs program with 100,000 workers to help with contact tracing and vaccine outreach.
* Proposes $170 billion for schools and universities, with the bulk of the money - $130 billion - earmarked for public schools to allow them to fully reopen by funding new hires such as nurses and janitors, reducing class size and bridging the digital divide.
* Require companies and the federal government to offer paid leave to employees who are concerned about the coronavirus - a maximum benefit of $1,400 a week - and reimburse employers of less than 500 people for the cost of the leave.
* Provide certain Americans with a $1,400 per-person stimulus check, bringing their total relief payment from this and the package passed by Congress in December to $2,000. Biden’s transition team did not detail who would qualify for these checks.
* Extend additional federal unemployment benefits through September and increase the payment to $400 a week, up from $300 a week.
* Extend the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums and continue applications for forbearance on federally-guaranteed mortgages through September.
* Provide $30 billion in rental and utility assistance for families.
* Extend the increased 15 percent Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit, which helps low-income families pay for food, through September.
* Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
* Expand child care tax credits on an emergency basis for one year to help working families cover the cost of childcare.
Families will get back as a tax credit as much as half of their spending on child care for children under age 13, so that they can receive a total of up to $4,000 for one child or $8,000 for two or more children.
* Provide $15 billion in grants to more than 1 million of the hardest hit small businesses.
* Spend $35 billion investment on successful state, local, tribal, and non-profit small business financing programs, generating as much as $175 billion in low-interest loans and venture capital.
Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; editing by Grant McCool
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