Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and others to promote relief plan's benefits

Vice President Kamala Harris bumps fists with President Joe Biden after she was sworn in during the inauguration

Let the sales push begin.

President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses are opening an ambitious, cross-country tour this week to highlight the benefits of his USD 1.9 trillion plan to defeat the coronavirus and boost the economy.

The road show dubbed the Help is Here tour by the White House begins Monday with Harris heading to a COVID-19 vaccination site and a culinary academy in Las Vegas, and first lady Jill Biden touring a New Jersey elementary school.

The president will have more to say about the plan Monday at the White House, and he plans to visit a small business in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday. He and Harris are slated to appear together in Atlanta on Friday.

Harris will meet with small-business owners in Denver on Tuesday. Wednesday sees Jill Biden in Concord, New Hampshire, and Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The stops at vaccination sites, businesses, schools and more are meant to educate the public about different aspects of the giant American Rescue Plan and how it will help people get to the other side of the pandemic.

Biden has said President Barack Obama's administration, in which Biden was vice president, failed to adequately educate the public about the benefits of its economic recovery plan. He said he wants to do a better sales job this time around on the details of his first big legislative victory.

One of the plan's key features is direct payments of USD 1,400 for a single taxpayer, or USD 2,800 for a married couple filing their taxes jointly, plus 1,400 per dependent for a total of USD 5,600 for a married couple with two children. The payments phase out for those with higher incomes.

An extension of federal unemployment benefits will continue through Sept 6 at USD 300 a week. There's USD 350 billion for state, local and tribal governments, USD 130 billion for K-12 schools and about USD 50 billion to expand COVID-19 testing, among other measures.

Restaurants and bars that were forced to close or limit service will take advantage of a new multibillion-dollar grant program, and the plan also has tens of billions of dollars to help people who have fallen behind on their rent and mortgage payments.

The bill cleared Congress without any backing from Republicans, despite polling that found broad public support for the plan. Republicans argued the bill was too expensive. Democrats provided the votes and Biden signed it into law last week.

The Help is Here tour is taking Harris on her first domestic trip as vice president. She'll be accompanied by her husband, the nation's first second gentleman, who plans to break off for separate events in Las Vegas on Monday and New Mexico on Wednesday.

Since taking office, Harris has presided over swearing-in ceremonies for members of Biden's Cabinet. She has stood with the president at his speeches, delivered remarks of her own, spoken by telephone with assorted world leaders and made appearances in the Washington area, including at funeral services for Washington power broker Vernon Jordan.

Harris also cast three tie-breaking votes in the 50-50 Senate in her role as president of the Senate.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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