Washington: After the coronavirus pandemic triggered the worst hunger crisis in the United States in modern times, President Joe Biden ordered the expansion of government benefits for hungry Americans.
The decree is one of two executive orders that the White House said it will sign on Friday, but it is not large in scale and is far from the actions the President requires Congress to take.
Nonetheless, this is still one of Biden’s first actions to restore the world’s largest economy since taking office on Wednesday, after Covid-19 led to massive layoffs last year, and many people scrambled to pay the bills.
“The American people can’t afford to wait. And so many are hanging by a thread, they need help, and we are committed to doing everything we can to provide that help as quickly as possible,” said Brian Deese, director of the White House’s National Economic Council Director.
Biden’s main initiative to turn the economy around is a $1.9 trillion “rescue” package that he outlined last week, followed by a promised proposal aimed at fueling job creation and spurring hiring.
“Much, much more is needed. And so that’s why, as we take these actions, we will continue to engage with Congress and with the American people around the need to move on the American rescue plan,” Deese told reporters.
These orders also instruct government agencies to help people get federal stimulus payments faster, allow workers to leave jobs that might endanger their health, expand protections for federal workers, and lay the foundation for a minimum wage for federal contractors.