President-elect Joe Biden on January 14 proposed a $1.9 trillion emergency legislative package (the American Rescue Plan) to fund COVID-19 vaccinations, provide increased direct relief to individuals and support communities. Biden said the proposal is the first step in a two-part plan that is needed immediately and will be followed by an economic recovery plan—the Build Back Better Recovery Plan—that he will outline in February. "It will make historic investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, innovation, research and development and clean energy," he said.
Biden said that “in this moment of crisis, with interest rates at historic lows, we cannot afford inaction,” and that the return on his proposed investments “will prevent long-term economic damage and the benefits will far surpass the costs." Biden also said that where permanent investments are made they will be paid for “by making sure that everyone pays their fair share in taxes.” "We can do it without punishing anyone by closing tax loopholes for companies that ship American jobs overseas or that allow American companies to pay zero in federal income taxes," he said.
Biden’s Build Back Better Recovery Plan is expected to include increases in tax rates for corporations and high-income individuals, international tax law changes and other revenue-raising measures that he proposed during his presidential campaign.
President-elect Biden has called on Congress to act quickly to build on the COVID-19 economic relief provided in the December year-end legislation. The reaction of Congress to this first step may influence Biden’s approach to his longer-term economic recovery plan.