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Biden reveals details of $1.9 trillion COVID-19 package

Yahoo Finance’s Myles Udland, Brian Sozzi, and Julie Hyman, and Jessica Smith discuss President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: And Joe Biden makes a $1.9-billion proposal for coronavirus relief, including direct payments to Americans and a boost to the federal minimum wage, among other measures. Let's start there, and with our Jessica Smith, in Washington. So we've got some details around this proposal in a speech last night from Joe Biden. What stands out to you in this package, Jess?

JESSICA SMITH: Well, this is just another massive stimulus package, designed to both fight the economic downturn and fight the virus. It's the first of two packages. This one is the rescue package. And then Biden says he'll unveil a recovery package sometime next month.

So let's start with the rescue package, this $1.9-trillion plan has many of the measures that Democrats have been looking for. $1,400 direct payments. That finishes the job, as Biden puts it, adding up to $2,000, when you combine that with the $600 payment passed late last year.

It ups the weekly unemployment boost to $400 and extends those enhanced benefits through the end of September. It has hundreds of billions of in state and local aid. It has billions for schools, vaccines, and testing.

And it would also raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. That's a huge Democratic priority. But something many Republicans oppose.

In his remarks last night, Biden acknowledged this is expensive. But he says it's necessary and will pay off in the long run. Let's watch.

JOE BIDEN: The decisions we make in the next few weeks and months are going to determine whether we thrive in a way that benefits all Americans. Or that we stay stuck in a place where those at the top do great while economic growth for most everyone else is just a spectator sport. And where American prospects dim, not brighten.

JESSICA SMITH: And Democratic lawmakers immediately backed the plan. We heard from Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer, both saying they would quickly get to work on it. The US Chamber of Commerce also praised the plan.

The Biden team says they want this to get bipartisan support. They'll need 10 Republicans to overcome a filibuster. But this nearly $2-trillion package could be a tough sell for Republicans in Congress.

We heard from Senator Marco Rubio. He tweeted, "President-Elect Biden served in the Senate for over 35 years. So he knows the plan he outlined can't pass "quickly" and will delay the $2,000 for hard hit Americans. Let's get the extra money to people first."

Biden does say he wants to move quickly. But of course, we can't forget the Senate is about to have an impeachment trial to worry about. Myles and Julie?

JULIE HYMAN: We'll see how they're multitasking is, I suppose, in the coming weeks. Jess, thank you so much.