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How Biden's proposed American Rescue Plan will help Hoosiers during the pandemic

Posted at 5:24 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 19:45:37-05

INDIANAPOLIS — President Joe Biden's administration is pushing a sweeping COVID-19 relief bill, which the White House says will help households and small businesses everywhere, including in Indiana.

At its core, the American Rescue Plan aims to mount a national vaccination program, which is already underway, to contain COVID-19, deliver financial relief to working families in the form of stimulus checks and housing and food assistance, and support small businesses struggling during the pandemic, with an emphasis to prop up businesses owned by people of color.

The $1.9 trillion bill proposes sending $1,400 checks to each person in the nation, including Indiana.

Jared Bernstein, one of Biden's chief economic advisors, said the money could help families temporarily make ends meet.

He said it's the start of getting the country back on track financially.

"Some of these families will start seeing checks with incomes of $70,000, $80,000, even $100,000, and one of the reasons that's so important is that many of those families have faced significant hardship," Bernstein said in an exclusive interview with WRTV. "I think sometimes in this country we think if you're poor, you're in trouble, and if you're middle class, you're fine. There are many middle-class families who have struggled throughout this pandemic. Many of them are accumulating for example really deep housing debt. And one of the things we can help them do with their checks is meet these piles of debt that some of these families are accumulating."

Lawmakers are still debating the plan.

WRTV also spoke to Bernstein about how the plan would help small businesses, provide aid to landlords and tenants, and more.

Watch the full interview in the player above to learn more.