By Johnnie Rosario
President-elect Joe Biden, flanked by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, announced a $1.9 trillion American Recovery Plan (ARP) relief package that will increase stimulus payments to $2,000 per tax filer and dependent, and increase weekly federal unemployment aid from $300 to $400.
"We anticipate working on the legislation in earnest once the administration is inaugurated and their details are transmitted, and will continue to ensure the people of Guam are included in all provisions," Congressman Michael San Nicolas said.
Mr. San Nicolas, who has been vice chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, has succeeded in ensuring Guam has been included in previous relief packages.
The president-elect will be sworn into office next Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The Democratic leaders of the House and Senate - both chambers to be controlled by Mr. Biden's party once Ms. Harris becomes the vice president - have vowed to turn the new president's vision into reality once he is sworn into office.
Not only does Mr. Biden want to increase weekly payment amounts, he wants to extend the payments from its current authorization of mid-March, to September.
"This gets money quickly into the pockets of millions of Americans who will spend it quickly," Mr. Biden said.
Mr. San Nicolas also has vowed to work with the incoming administration to correct federal guidance the Guam Department of Labor has received regarding the current $300 weekly unemployment compensation.
Bigger tax refunds if you're a parent or poor worker
Under the ARP, Mr. Biden is proposing to increase the current $2,000 child tax credit to $3,600 for children under the age of 6, and $3,000 for children ages 6 through 17, and make the credit fully refundable. This means your tax refund is going to get crazy big next year. Mr. Biden also proposes raising the caps for Earned Income Tax Credit eligibility - again, increasing tax refunds for poor workers.