On Friday, President Joe Biden added two more executive orders to his list of signed orders. The first order will ensure that more food and increased stimulus checks are sent to low-income earners while the other will increase the minimum pay for federal workers to $15. These new orders and the others that preceded them are all geared towards fulfilling Biden’s promise of reversing some of the decisions of the last administration.
Though it is subject to approval from Congress, Biden plans to make $1.9 trillion available as a form of relief package for low-income families. As the president stated last week, $1,400 stimulus checks will be sent out under the scheme, in addition to extending the period of food aid and payment benefits for unemployed Americans. The scheme also includes a provision to increase the aid given to affected homeowners and renters.
The executive orders can be put in place immediately, and the first one will ensure that more funds are added to the $900 billion relief package which pegged the next stimulus checks at $600 alongside $300 boosts every week for unemployed Americans. The executive order will also make provisions for two major COVID-19 relief programs for unemployed people to be extended by 11 weeks, together with more food aid and protections against eviction notices, CNBC reports.
Biden stated that the executive order was prompted by financial challenges that Americans are going through in recent times. The president explained that about one in every seven American families has reported having difficulty feeding. The figure is higher in black and Latino homes with one in every five families lacking the resources to feed its members
About 14 million Americans face the threat of eviction from their homes added to the grim fact that last week, another 900,000 people reported being out of jobs for the first time. Biden said that these figures negate everything that the country stands for and that the government needs to act fast before people start losing their homes and abilities to feed their families because of something that is totally out of their control.
Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, asserted during a briefing at the White House that it is better to make plans to expand relief packages now instead of having to wait to observe how well the $900 billion relief package that was released last month fairs. Deese cited a Moody’s Analytics analysis that projected that the president’s relief scheme would provide employment opportunities for 7.5 million people in 2021, returning the US to full employment level at least a year before the earlier projections.
The second executive order the president signed will help provide better working conditions for federal employees and contractors, just as Biden promised during his campaign. According to the order, by the end of the president’s first 100 days in office, federal contractors will be required to pay workers $15 minimum wage per hour, along with the provision of emergency paid leave.
To achieve this, the order mandates agencies to make recommendations to ensure that federal workers earning less than $15 per hour can have their pays increased.