President Joe Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package to address economic issues caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The package is set to include $1,400 stimulus checks that a majority of American citizens, including adult-dependent college students, would be eligible for.
President Biden previously stated in January that he would send $2,000 checks to every American citizen. Some interpret the $1,400 checks as completing that promise, while others believe the Biden administration is going back on their word.
“I think that it’s a bit weak, but it’s better than nothing,” Owen Belfiore, a sophomore political science major at College of Wooster, said.
“I’m disappointed with the hesitance, and the administration lost a lot of respect right out of the gate from me due to their going back on their word,” Noah Neal, a junior cinema major, said.
One of the biggest differences between previous stimulus checks and the current proposal is that adult-dependent college students were ineligible for the previous two stimulus checks.
“I’m just happy to be included this time… I haven’t gotten either of the previous checks,” Max Bametzrieder, a junior political science major at CCAC, said.
The Democratic Party, which recently gained a majority in the Senate following two special elections in the state of Georgia, has recently passed a budget resolution that would allow them to pass the stimulus bill without bipartisan support from the GOP. President Biden expressed that he does not wish to do this, instead expressing a belief that the GOP will work with his administration to pass a bipartisan relief bill. But recently he stated that the Republicans are not going as far as he needs them to go.
“I don’t think it will get passed without Republican cooperation,” Belfiore said.
Despite his expressed desire for unity, President Biden has called on Congress to pass the relief act as quickly as possible, which opens the door to a potential partisan vote.
“We don’t have a second to waste when it comes to delivering the American people the relief they desperately need,” President Biden tweeted out early Monday morning.
“They should push it through with the Democratic majority… people just need relief,” Neal said.
The House Education and Labor Committee has passed a provision in the bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15. President Biden previously stated that he did not expect the provision to make it into the bill but that he was committed to somehow raising the minimum wage. Supporters of the provision believe that it will boost the economy, while critics believe it will just result in an increase in the cost of living through inflation.
“There’s nobody in America that should be working for less than $15 an hour… after taxes, you’re left with $2,000 a month, most people can’t live on that,” Professor Edward Meena, a political science professor, said. “If you go to McDonald’s and get an Egg McMuffin, it’s $4. There’s nothing cheap anymore.”
It is still uncertain if the provision will pass through the Senate.