In an effort to avoid having an entire nation blasting Rihanna’s 2015 banger “Bitch Better Have My Money” during his televised address this evening, President Joe Biden has signed the COVID relief package a day earlier than expected.
According to the New York Times, the Biden administration upped the timeline on the signing in an effort to get those stimulus checks in the bank accounts of the countless Americans who have experienced prolonged financial uncertainty throughout the pandemic. “This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving the people of this nation, working people, the middle class folks, people who built the country a fighting chance,” Biden said when signing the bill.
Biden’s primetime address is set to begin just after 8 p.m. and run under 20 minutes and will go into detail about the benefits offered by the $1.9 trillion economic relief package. The address is intended to be the start of an extensive campaign that will see Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris traveling to multiple states and holding events in an effort to “emphasize the legislation’s themes,” according to officials in the Biden administration.
The campaign is intended to avoid some of the blowback that former President Barack Obama faced in 2009 after passing a similar stimulus package to combat the effects of the 2008 economic crisis. The Obama administration struggled to craft a winning message around the package, resulting in the Tea Party rising to combat the scourge of “government handouts,” and the GOP beginning its descent into what would eventually become Trumpism.
Whew, chile, the 2010s were weird weren’t they?
Unlike the prior stimulus package, this one already has majority approval among voters, which isn’t terribly surprising. Who’s really going to be mad at an extra $1,400 in their bank account in the middle of a pandemic?
Biden is around the midpoint of his first 100 days and the passing of the economic relief bill marks one of his administration’s biggest legislative accomplishments so far. The White House has said that some Americans could expect the first wave of stimulus payments this weekend, with more rolling out in the weeks ahead.
According to CNBC, in addition to the stimulus payments, the relief package will extend a $300 boost to unemployment benefits until September, designate an additional $20 billion in vaccine funding, and will also provide much-needed relief for restaurants and schools.