The Trump administration's $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package that passed in March excluded about 12 million families -- or 40% of SNAP beneficiaries -- from an increase in food assistance, according to the Center for American Progress. Biden's executive order aims to close that gap.
"Nearly 30 million Americans last week said they didn't have enough food," National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said during his first press briefing Friday.
President Biden will ask the Department of Agriculture to increase current pandemic-related electronic benefit transfers (EBTs) by 15%. He will also ask the USDA to increase its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allotments for those 12 million low-income families.
"With the changes, an eligible family with three children would get an additional [$100] over two months to help pay for food," Deese said, representing "a 15% to 20% increase" in SNAP benefits.
Biden's second executive order will seek to deliver a $15 minimum wage and two weeks of paid emergency leave to federal workers within his first 100 days in office. The work will include a review of which agencies currently pay less than $15 per hour and make recommendations about how best to implement the wage hike.
Workers who refuse employment that they believe would jeopardize their health will still quality for unemployment benefits, Deese said.
"This is a step to make sure workers have a right to a safe work environment," added Deese, "and we don't put them in the middle of a pandemic in a position where they have to choose between their own livelihoods and health of they [sic] and their families."
Deese clarified that the two executive orders are separate from a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal Biden introduced last week that includes more than $1 trillion in direct relief for individuals and families to help combat COVID-19 and boost the economy.
President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz of the Job Creators Network (JCN), criticized the second executive order, saying it will contribute to the elimination of "millions of jobs" in a statement to FOX Business.
"Cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline, rejoining the Paris Accord and a $15 minimum wage will devastate our economy at a time when we’re already on the brink of recession," Ortiz said. "Today’s executive order will hurt private businesses who contract with the government, and if Biden succeeds in imposing a $15 minimum wage on the entire economy, it could eliminate up to 3.7 million jobs."
He continued: "That would bring the total number of jobs lost to 10 million – just from three Biden proposals."
Fox Business' Thomas Barabi contributed to this report.