Home News+Pop Culture ICYMI: Relief bill inches forward, Biden announces more team members

ICYMI: Relief bill inches forward, Biden announces more team members

Following President Donald Trump’s signing of the new COVID-19 relief bill, the House will vote today whether to increase direct payments from $600 to $2,000.

“As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people,” Trump said in a statement. 

Relief bill to be finalized soon.

According to CNBC, even if the House approves the increase, it is unlikely the Republican-held Senate will pass the change, given most opposed a direct payment of $1,200. 

“Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said. 

While the fate of stimulus checks remains up in the air, Trump’s signature approved a full year of government spending. 

Still, the relief bill sat in limbo for nearly a week. The Senate passed it on the night of December 21. As explained by ABC7, Trump’s “foot-dragging resulted in a lapse in unemployment benefits for millions and threatened a government shutdown.” 

“This bill is critical,” President-elect Joe Biden said. “It is also a first step and down payment on more action that we’ll need to take early in the new year to revive the economy and contain the pandemic.” 

Biden selects more staffers.

Just before the holiday, Biden added more members to his team. Jonathan Cedarbaum, Danielle Conley, Stuart Delery and Jonathan Su will join the Office of the White House Counsel.

“This team reflects the very best of our nation,” Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said. “They are dedicated public servants and legal experts who will adhere to the highest standards of integrity as we work to rebuild our country in a way that lifts up all Americans.” 

Dr. Miguel Cardona

Notably, Biden selected Dr. Miguel Cardona as his education secretary nominee. Cardona is a former public school teacher and Connecticut’s current education commissioner, for which he was the first Latino to hold the position. He made Connecticut the first state to ensure all public school students had access to a laptop and internet connection to engage in remote learning. 

“As a lifelong champion of public education, [Cardona] understands that our children are the kite strings that keep our national ambitions aloft,” Biden said.

At 28, Cardona became the state’s youngest school principal, where he served for 10 years. He eventually went on to work at the district level and became assistant superintendent. Cardona earned a master’s degree in bilingual/ bicultural education and doctorate in education from the University of Connecticut. 

Haley Bosselmanhttps://haleybosselman.wordpress.com/
Haley Bosselman is the former editor-in-chief of Culturas. She holds degrees in journalism from Arizona State University and the University of Southern California. Based in Los Angeles, she writes about arts, entertainment and culture.
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