Biden just signed an executive order to expand food stamps and send stimulus checks to people who haven't already received one

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden prepares to sign a series of executive orders at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
  • Biden’s third wave of executive actions will provide aid to Americans struggling financially.
  • Addressing the hunger crisis, increasing SNAP benefits, and ensuring quick delivery of stimulus payments are core components of Biden’s relief plan.
  • Biden also plans on encouraging government agencies to raise the minimum hourly wage to $US15.
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President Joe Biden signed an executive action on Friday to address the financial struggles facing millions of Americans as the pandemic continues.

“We need more action and we need to move fast,” Biden said during a signing ceremony on Friday.

While Biden’s $US1.9 trillion stimulus package is centered on providing aid, executives orders will allow for immediate action without having to wait for congressional approval, Insider previously reported. The move underscores the Biden administration’s intent to move rapidly to address the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

The Biden administration is also kick-starting relief talks with Congress this weekend, attempting to garner bipartisan support for a large rescue package that’s already running into strong Republican opposition.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of what the executive action includes and how it will provide economic relief for businesses, families, and individuals:

Address the growing hunger crisis facing children and adults in America

According to the Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities, one in seven households in the country is struggling to obtain the food they need. Biden is calling on Congress to extend the 15% Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit increase and invest $US3 billion to help women, infants, and children get the food they require.

Increase access to nutritious foods for children missing meals during school closures

The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer connects low-income families with children with the equivalent amount of money spent on school meals. Biden is asking the Department of Agriculture to increase the benefits by about 15% to accurately reflect the cost of missed meals during the pandemic.

Allow larger emergency SNAP allotments for lowest-income households

Congress has previously authorised emergency SNAP benefits, but those benefits have not been made available to the lowest-income households in the country. The USDA will consider extending those benefits to the households that need them the most, increasing benefit access to an additional 12 million people.

Update the true cost of a healthy diet

The USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan, which determines SNAP benefits, is not up to date with the economic realities households face when attempting to buy healthy food, so the benefits fall short of what a healthy diet truly costs. Biden will request that the USDA review the Thrifty Food Plan to better reflect the modern cost of a healthy diet.

Ensure efficient delivery of direct stimulus payments

With many Americans experiencing challenges receiving the first round of direct payments — 8 million eligible households never received the checks — Biden plans to provide equitable delivery of his proposed $US1,400 stimulus checks by asking the Treasury Department to improve delivery of the payments. This can be done through a series of measures, including establishing online tools for claiming payments, working to make sure everyone can access the payments, and analysing unserved households for additional outreach efforts.

Guarantee safety and economic coverage for working families

Forty-three per cent of American households in a Gallup poll reported having at least one member of a family with a preexisting condition, which makes going into work a significant health risk. Biden will ask the Department of Labour to clarify that workers have a federally guaranteed right to refuse employment that could jeopardize their health, and that if they choose to do so, they will still qualify for unemployment insurance.

Help families, workers, and small businesses access relief quickly through coordinated benefit-delivery teams

While many government programs have provided support for families struggling financially, many people and small businesses have encountered difficulty in navigating relief services, leaving many benefits unclaimed. As a result, Biden plans on establishing benefit-delivery teams and a coordination structure across federal and state programs to provide greater ease in accessing urgent relief.

Protect and empower federal workers and contractors

Biden will direct his administration on Friday to begin the work that will allow him to issue an executive order in his first 100 days to require federal contractors to pay workers a $US15 minimum wage, along with providing emergency paid leave to workers.

To further protect federal employees, Biden will sign an executive order that:

  • Restores collective bargaining powers and worker protections.
  • Eliminates Schedule F, which threatens critical protections of career employees and allows for civil-service positions for political appointees.
  • Promotes a $US15 minimum wage for all federal workers.

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