Biden's COVID-19 stimulus checks plan: $600 + $1,400 = $2,000

President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. AP Photo/Susan Walsh
  • President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus plan on Thursday that includes $1,400 checks.

  • Biden had pledged $2,000 direct payments to Americans.

  • His plan adds $1,400 in stimulus money to the $600 paid out to eligible Americans as part of the last COVID-19 relief package to bring the total doled out to $2,000.

  • But based on criticism of the proposal online, there's confusion and anger about why the plan does not explicitly include $2,000 direct payments.

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President-elect Joe Biden released his COVID-19 stimulus plan on Thursday, and it includes $1,400 checks to add to the $600 direct payments provided via the most recent stimulus package - bringing the total distributed amount to $2,000.

This is Biden's approach to making good on his pledge to provide $2,000 checks to eligible Americans, a popular proposal that gained support from President Donald Trump and House Democrats in December but was rejected by Senate Republicans.

In December, House Democrats passed a standalone bill (the Cash Act) for $2000 checks, but it stipulated that the payments would be $1400 to supplement the $600 direct payments in the most recent relief package signed by Trump. Biden's plan is in line with the Cash Act.

But Biden's proposal already appears to be generating confusion and anger, as some appeared to expect Biden to include $2,000 direct payments on top of the $600 included in the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill signed by Trump in late December. Just four days ago, Biden tweeted: "We need $2,000 stimulus checks."

Biden's plan garnered a fair amount of criticism Thursday:

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was also critical of Biden's plan over the $1400 checks.

"$2,000 means $2,000. $2,000 does not mean $1,400,″ Ocasio-Cortez told the Washington Post on Thursday.

The president-elect's stimulus plan is $1.9 trillion, and on top of $1,400 checks includes $130 billion in funds to reopen schools, $350 billion in state and local assistance, and $400 in weekly federal unemployment benefits through September 2021.

Read more: Joe Biden is hiring about 4,000 political staffers to work in his administration. Here's how 3 experts say you can boost your chances of getting one of those jobs.

Biden is set to be inaugurated on January 20, and the Senate will then be forced to balance confirming his Cabinet nominees, working on passing another COVID-19 stimulus, and holding Trump's impeachment trial over the Capitol siege.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig contributed reporting.

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