President Joe Biden signed two executive orders covering various issues, including coronavirus relief, food stamps, federal unions, and increased federal minimum wage.
The first order Biden signed on Friday related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), generally referred to as food stamps. Biden requested in the order that the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows states to increase SNAP benefits by 15%.
Congress recently passed a $1 trillion relief bill that boosted the maximum SNAP benefit by 15%, but that did not help the 40% of SNAP recipients who were already at the full benefit. Mr. Biden’s order tells the USDA to ‘consider issuing new guidance that would allow states to increase SNAP emergency allotments for those who need it most.’
The order would also increase Pandemic-EBT, an electronic debit card program for students who would have qualified for free or reduced-price meals at school.
In the same executive order, Biden also sought to streamline how stimulus checks are delivered for those who still haven’t received their payments from Congress’ last coronavirus relief bill.
Biden’s second executive order directs the Office of Personnel Management to develop recommendations to increase federal employees’ minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The two executive orders signed Friday brings Biden’s total to 30, more than Trump signed in his first 100 days in the office, where Biden has only been president for three days.