Overview of Biden’s American Rescue Plan

Published: January 20, 2021

Federal Market AnalysisAdministration TransitionCoronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicInformation TechnologyPolicy and Legislation

Last week, the Biden team unveiled its $1.9 trillion COVID emergency relief plan that would deliver economic aid to U.S. families and businesses, and fight the pandemic through vaccines and testing.

Key Takeaways:

  • The proposed legislation would provide $400B to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The bill would also provide $1T in economic relief to families and $440B to struggling communities.
  • The relief plan also proposes $9B for the federal Technology Modernization Fund to propel federal IT modernization efforts.

Biden described the wide-ranging package as a first step to address the immediate healthcare and economic needs of the nation, to be followed by additional relief legislation in February. The package includes funding and actions to combat the pandemic, provide economic relief to families, support communities and modernize federal IT.

Below is a summary of the provisions of the proposed legislation:

Actions to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic - $400B:

  • Mount a national vaccination program - $20B
  • Scale up testing to stop the spread of COVID-19, safely reopen schools, and protect at-risk populations - $50B
  • Mobilize a public health jobs program to support COVID-19 response
  • Address health disparities and COVID-19
  • Protect vulnerable populations in congregate settings
  • Identify and address emerging strains of COVID-19
  • Provide emergency relief and purchase critical supplies and deploy National Guard - $30B for the Disaster Relief Fund and $10B to expand domestic manufacturing for pandemic supplies
  • Invest in treatments for COVID-19
  • Protect workers against COVID-19
  • Restore U.S. leadership globally and build better preparedness
  • Provide schools the resources they need to reopen safely - $170B
  • Provide emergency paid leave to 106 million more Americans to reduce the spread of the virus

Actions to Provide Economic Relief to Families - $1T

  • Give working families $1,400 per-person
  • Extend and expand unemployment insurance benefits
  • Extend the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums and continue applications for forbearance on federally-guaranteed mortgages until September 30, 2021
  • Provide rental, energy, and water assistance to renters and small landlords - $30B
  • Provide emergency assistance to help secure housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness - $5B
  • Address the growing hunger crisis - $13B
  • Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour
  • Call on employers to meet their obligations to frontline essential workers and provide back hazard pay
  • Expand access to high-quality, affordable child care – including $25B for the Emergency Stabilization Fund and $15B for the Child Care and Development Block Grant
  • Bolster financial security for families and essential workers – including $1B for states for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program
  • Preserve and expand health coverage
  • Expand access to behavioral health services - $4B
  • Ensure adequate funding for veterans’ health - $20B
  • Combat increased risk of gender-based violence - $800M

Actions to Provide Support to Struggling Communities - $440B

  • Provide grants to more than 1 million of the hardest hit small businesses - $15B
  • Leverage $35B in government funds into $175B in additional small business lending and investment - $35B
  • Provide support for first responders and other essential workers - $350B
  • Protect the future of public transit - $20B
  • Support Tribal governments’ response to COVID-19 - $20B

Actions to Modernize Federal Information Technology to Protect Against Future Cyber Attacks –

  • Expand and improve the Technology Modernization Fund - $9B
  • Surge hiring of cybersecurity and engineering experts - $200M for the Information Technology Oversight and Reform fund
  • Build shared, secure services to drive transformational projects - $300M for the GSA Technology Transformation Services
  • Improve security monitoring and incident response activities – an additional $690M for CISA

The legislation will likely be introduced to Congress within Biden’s first ten days in office. The new president is aiming for bipartisan support for this first relief bill but will pivot to using “budget reconciliation” to get it passed if he cannot garner enough support on both sides of the aisle.