What is in Biden’s $1.9 trillion ‘American Rescue Plan’ Stimulus Package?

In the run-up to his inauguration, Joe Biden and his administration revealed they would be proposing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package, titled the ‘American Rescue Plan’, and would be one of the first bills they’d look to pass and sign on their first day in the job.

Using data from a range of sources, including Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ platform, we have taken a look into costs and spending plans of the ‘American Rescue Plan’ stimulus packages and programs.


Key statistics

  • $463 billion is estimated to be earmarked for the additional round stimulus checks
  • Biden’s $400 per week unemployment support will cost an estimated $137 billion by September
  • Vaccination set to be ramped up with $20 billion of investment in supply, distribution, and inoculations
  • COVID-19 testing to be increased with a $50 billion package to escalate the levels of tests being processed
  • Schools to receive $170 billion of help to safely reopen and support remote learning
  • Under Biden’s plan, a $175 billion low-interest business loan scheme will be rolled out, leveraging $35 billion of US bonds

Visual Chart Of Biden’s Proposed Spending Plans

Despite the almost $3 trillion of support and stimulus packages being provided by the Federal government, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US is still suffering from the impact of the virus. To help support the nation, Joe Biden and his administration confirmed that they would be pressing ahead with proposing a new $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

Aimed at protecting the vulnerable, supporting those in need, and aiding in the recovery efforts of the pandemic, the American Rescue Plan stimulus package contains 5 key areas of investments and support:

  • Individuals
  • Small Businesses
  • Public Health & Care
  • Education
  • State and Local Government
Spending Package Category Estimated Package Costs ($bn) % Of Overall Plan Cost
Individuals $862 44.6%
State and Local Governments $391 20.2%
Public Health & Care $198 10.2%
Small Businesses $190 9.8%
Education $170 8.8%
Programs Yet to Be Confirmed $100 5.2%
Other $21 1.1%

*Figures estimates based on reporting of Biden’s proposal before inauguration day (01/25/2021).

Below are some of the support and investment highlights proposed by the Biden administration:

Direct Investment And Support For Citizens

Based on current figures and analysis, the Biden administration is preparing to provide anywhere between $862 billion and $1 trillion in support schemes to help US residents and citizens.

The bulk of this cost will come from the proposed $1,400 increase in stimulus checks, which when added onto last month’s approved $600 checks will mean adults in the US receive up to $2,000 to help with bills, food, and support impacted incomes.

Current data shows that the proposed addition of the $1,400, to the $600 already being spent, would see the federal government provide an estimated $463 billion to citizens.

Tax credits and unemployment support will also be expanded and increased. The proposed tax credit eligibility expansions and increase in credit are expected to cost at least $114 billion to the federal budget. Meanwhile, unemployment checks are likely to be increased under Biden’s plans. Those out of work will, under the proposal, receive $400 per week (up from $300) until September.

Using unemployment data, the increase in payments would cost an estimated $137 billion to the US budget. However, this figure does not take into account Biden’s rumored plan to increase eligibility to allow self-employed and gig economy workers to claim unemployment benefits.

In addition, to help the estimated 106 million workers currently without paid sickness insurance, $103 billion will need to be set aside to fulfill Biden’s aims of ensuring workers don’t need to work when they’re ill.

Investment And Support For Small Businesses

Small businesses across the US have been hit hard by COVID-19, to help, Biden’s proposals offer a further $190 billion of state and federally backed grants and loans. This in addition to the current Paycheck Protection Program, which aims to help businesses across the US retain staff.

Biden’s proposals would see $175 billion worth of low-interest loans offered to small businesses, with a further $15 billion made available as grants.

Investments In Public Health And Care

Roughly 10% of the currently laid out costs of the American Rescue Plan will go towards public health initiatives. This includes $20 billion to help in the supply and distribution of the US’ COVID-19 vaccines, including the construction of massive vaccination centers.

A further $90 billion is projected to be spent on testing ($50bn) and PPE ($40bn) for healthcare workers, while $10 billion will be invested in training and hiring additional staff to help in the effort to vaccinate and protect the public.

In all $144 billion is estimated to be spent on public health initiatives.

Investments and Support for Education

In total, $170 billion is projected to be spent supporting and reopening schools and colleges across the nation; representing just over 8% of the currently planned investment.

K-12 schools are expected to receive $130 billion in investment and aid, to help support remote learning where possible, decrease class sizes in a bid to help social distancing, and other administrative changes to ensure schools can re-open safely. Likewise, colleges will receive an estimated $35 billion to help them re-open safely and support remote learning in the meantime.

State and Local Government Aid and Support

Many states and local governments have seen their ability to support residents diminish as the pandemic goes on. To help localized governments, the American Rescue Plan intends to make $350 billion available to states and local governments in their efforts to combat the virus and ensure vital services are maintained.

In addition to the $350 billion, $20 billion is going to be set aside to keep transit agencies afloat. Meanwhile, tribal governments are also set to receive $20 billion, helping them keep their communities safe and provide access to vaccinations and testing.

How Much Could The American Rescue Plan Cost?

While we have been able to account for, and estimate, just over $1.8 trillion of Biden’s $1.9 trillion ‘American Rescue Plan’, several aspects are yet to be made available to the public. According to our estimates, close to $100 billion is yet to be confirmed, however, we have identified 8 different programs inline to receive some of this support; those being:

  • Preserving And Expanding Health Insurance Coverage
  • Raise Minimum Wage To $15 Per Hour
  • Extending the 15% Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Extend Eviction And Foreclosure Moratoriums
  • Fund Short-Time Compensation Programs
  • Increase In Food Stamp Benefits
  • Expanded Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC)
  • Subsidies For Health Insurance Premiums (increase to 8.5%)


  • https://buildbackbetter.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/COVID_Relief-Package-Fact-Sheet.pdf
  • https://taxfoundation.org/biden-stimulus-american-rescue-plan/
  • https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf
  • https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/prisinzano-biden-budget/
  • https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/policy-basics-the-earned-income-tax-credit#:~:text=In%20the%202018%20tax%20year,status%2C%20and%20number%20of%20children.
  • https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2020/04/17/483287/coronavirus-paid-leave-exemptions-exclude-millions-workers-coverage/
  • https://www.thebalancecareers.com/average-salary-information-for-us-workers-2060808
  • https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/14/politics/biden-economic-rescue-package-coronavirus-stimulus/index.html