Biden says administration will surpass 100 million relief payments in next 10 days
President Biden said Monday that within the next 10 days, more than 100 million relief payments will have been delivered to Americans.
The comments come just days after the U.S. passed the 100 million mark for coronavirus vaccines administered.
“Shots in arms and money in pockets. That is important,” Biden said in remarks at the White House. “The American Rescue Plan is already doing what it was designed to do – make a difference in people’s everyday lives.”
Biden had previously set a goal of 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office.
The White House says it expects 158.5 million households to receive relief checks from the $1.9 trillion rescue package signed into law Thursday. The Treasury Department began sending out direct payments over the weekend.
Biden on Monday stressed the need to implement the massive coronavirus relief bill quickly and fairly. He announced that Gene Sperling, a former top economic adviser to former presidents Clinton and Obama, would oversee implementation of the legislation.
“It’s one thing to pass a historic piece of legislation like the American Rescue Plan and it’s quite another to implement it. The devil is in the details. It requires fastidious oversight to make sure the relief arrives quickly, equitably and efficiently with no waste or fraud,” Biden said.
The president described Sperling as a “gifted manager” who would engage with state and local leaders in order to ensure the rescue package is implemented as intended.
“Gene will be on the phone with mayors and governors, red states, blue states. A source of constant communication, a source of guidance and support, and above all a source of accountability for all of us to get the job done,” Biden said.
Sperling, who is working remotely in California, will hold the title of White House American Rescue Plan coordinator and senior adviser to the president. He is expected to take on a role similar to the one Biden played as vice president when he oversaw implementation of the 2009 recovery bill during the Obama administration.
The administration is under pressure to get assistance out quickly to businesses and households that have been hit hard by the pandemic and related closures.
The relief measure provides funding for $1,400 direct payments for most Americans, an expansion of the child tax credit, enhanced unemployment benefits, small business assistance, state and local aid, and school reopenings and vaccine distribution.