President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9 trillion economic relief package. Plus, Biden has named former FDA Commissioner to lead vaccine efforts, David Cohen as Deputy Director of CIA, and Jamie Harrison as chair of DNC.
Biden unveils $1.9 Trillion economic stimulus package
President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled a stimulus plan for economic recovery that calls for a $1.9 trillion package.
The majority of the money will go to households, with $1 trillion allocated toward giving all Americans a $1400 stimulus check. This follows the $600 already being distributed to taxpayers by the government, bringing the total to the $2000 that President Trump and lawmakers were seeking.
Also included in the proposal is $415 billion for fighting the coronavirus pandemic and $440 billion for small businesses, the BBC reported.
In addition, there is $160 billion for a national vaccine program, which includes $20 billion for distribution and $50 billion for expanding testing, NPR reported. The plan also calls on Congress to invest $170 billion in K-12 schools and higher education, including $130 billion for schools to reopen safely.
David Cohen returns as Deputy Director of CIA
President-elect Joe Biden has named David Cohen to serve as Deputy Director of the CIA. The appointment does not require Senate confirmation, which means Cohen will assume the role on January 20 following Biden’s inauguration. Cohen previously served in the role for two years during the Obama administration, NBC reported. Cohen was also a top national security official at the Treasury Department before joining the CIA in 2015. Prior to that, he worked as an attorney in private practice for two decades.
Former FDA Commissioner to lead vaccine efforts
Dr. David Kessler, a former head of the US Food and Drug Administration, will lead federal Covid-19 vaccine efforts for Biden’s administration. Kessler brings significant experience to the role, having previously led the FDA under former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Kessler currently serves as the co-chair of the Biden transition’s coronavirus task force, CNN reported. Kessler will lead Operation Warp Speed, the group that began under President Donald Trump to speed up vaccine development and distribution.
Jamie Harrison to chair the DNC
President-elect Joe Biden has named Jamie Harrison to chair the Democratic National Committee. Technically, Biden’s choice is only a recommendation, coming amidst a slate of others among other senior party officers. However, it’s assumed that Biden’s recommendation practically guarantees Harrison will be given the role. If selected, Harrison will be the second African-American to serve as DNC chair. A vote by members of the Democratic National Committee is scheduled to end on January 21, BuzzFeed reported.
Individuals under consideration for the role of vice chair are: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and Rep. Filemon Vela.