President Biden signed two executive orders on Friday, one of which would increase federal food aid and streamline distributionAs, President Coronovirus attempts to stabilize the economy without the aid of Congress amid the fallout from the epidemic.
“We have to take action now,” Mr. Biden said in remarks before signing the orders. “We can’t, won’t let people starve.”
Mr. Biden has proposedFor Congress, but it is unclear whether it would garner enough Republican support to pass on bipartisan basis. Until Congress is able to pass another relief bill, Mr. Biden’s actions are intended as stopgap measures to stabilize the economy.
Some Republicans have questioned whether Congress still needs a second, larger relief bill after the $ 900 billion bill was passed in December. But in his remarks on Friday, Mr Biden said the most recent relief bill was just a “downpayment”.
“We need more action, and we need to move faster,” Mr. Biden said. “We are in a national emergency. We need to act in a national emergency. So we have to go ahead with whatever we have got.”
In the first order, Mr. Biden asked the US Department of Agriculture to allow states to extend the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).– commonly known as food stamps – from 15%. Congress recently passed a $ 1 trillion relief bill, which increased maximum SNAP benefits by 15%, but it did not help 40% of SNAP recipients who were already in maximum benefits. According to a fact sheet provided by the White House, Mr. Biden’s order allows the USDA to “consider issuing new guidance that would allow states to increase SNAP emergency allocations for those people,” implying that An additional 12 million people get enhanced benefits.
The order will also enhance the Pandemic-EBT, an electronic debit card program for students who have qualified for free or reduced-price meals at school. Mr. Biden is instructing the USDA to consider issuing new guidance to “correctly reflect missing food costs, increasing PU-EBT benefits by about 15% and for families to claim benefits” Take it easy. ” According to the White House, it can provide a family with three children which is an additional $ 100 in support per month.
Under the order, the USDA will also resume the thrifty food plan, which is the basis for determining SNAP benefits. According to the White House fact sheet, the plan is “one of the oldest with economic realities, when the most struggling families try to buy and prepare healthy food.”
Due to the economic decline from the epidemic,in recent months. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonresearched research institute, reported that nearly one in five adults with children reported that their families eat occasionally or in the last seven days, according to data collected from the USDA between December Was not enough for 9–21. More than twice as many Black and Latino adults reported that their families did not get enough to eat than White families.
An increase in SNAP benefits will also boost the economy. During the economic downturn, more individuals enroll in SNAP. These enrollees then spend on this federal aid, which generates income for those who produce, transport and sell food. A 2019 analysis by the USDA Economic Research Service found that a $ 1 billion increase in SNAP benefits could raise the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by $ 1.54 billion and support about 14,000 jobs.
Mr. Biden’s order also aims to distribute incentive checks to those who have not yet received their direct payment. Congress passed a bill last month to provide $ 600 in direct payments for Americans under a certain limit. Mr. Biden, who supports raising the $ 2,000 payment, will also ask Congress to pass legislation providing an additional direct check of $ 1,400.
Mr. Biden issued a second executive order to improve the gathering of bargaining power and security for federal employees, and directed the Office of Personnel Management to increase the minimum wage for federal employees to $ 15 per hour Develop recommendations.