President-elect Joe Biden outlined his plans for economic relief from the coronavirus crisis on Thursday, citing the need for a more robust vaccination plan as well as for additional direct payments to American families to help recover the U.S. economy. His plan, called the American Rescue Plan, is expected to cost $1.9 trillion.

The package includes $1,400 direct stimulus checks, which would supplement the $600 checks Congress passed late last year. Biden also proposes an additional $160 billion for a national vaccine program, including $20 billion for distribution, and an additional $50 billion for expanded testing.

“It’s not hard to see that we are in the middle of a once-in-several generations economic crisis, with a once-in-several generations public health crisis. A crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight,” Biden said.

“We have to act, and we have to act now,” Biden said. “We cannot afford inaction.”

The plan also calls on Congress to invest $170 billion in K-12 schools and higher education, including $130 billion for schools to safely reopen.

The American Federation of Teachers praised Biden’s plan as taking “tangible actions for emergency relief.” Read More..