- President-elect Joe Biden said at a Friday event that he said the compromise aid package he backed would be improved by involving a new round of American direct payments.
- “I think it would be better if it was $ 1,200. I understand it could still be in play,” Biden said.
- Progressives have criticized the latest bipartisan aid proposal made by a group of senators ’centrist group.
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President-elect Joe Biden said during an economic event that the latest $ 908 billion stimulus package would be “better” if it included a new wave of direct payments to Americans.
“I think it would be better if it was $ 1,200. I understand it could still be in play,” Biden said.
He added: “The purpose of this is to make sure people are not thrown out of their homes, they do not lose their homes, they are able to provide unemployment insurance, and they continue to feed their families as we grow back. Economy.”
Biden said he supported the package, according to an interview broadcast by CNN on Thursday night, but stressed that he wanted to hand over additional federal aid after his oath of office.
The president-elect’s remarks came at a time when progressive Democrats on Friday heightened their criticism of the coronavir-free package being formed in Congress. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders, two prominent developments, reiterated their call for further direct payments when a bipartisan group of moderate senators balanced their provisions. The text of the legislation is expected early next week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a weekly press conference that “momentum” had gathered behind the deal. “We have to finish. We have to finish before we leave. We can’t go without him,” he said.
Sanders, however, indicated he would not vote on the package on Friday.
“Given that working families today face enormous economic desperation in this country, I cannot support the recently announced Manchin-Romney COVID proposal unless it is significantly improved,” Sanders said. said in a statementreferring to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and GOP Senator Mitt Romney, two architects of the bipartisan framework.
The Vermont senator has challenged the inclusion of a plan shield of responsibility aimed at protecting companies from lawsuits related to the coronavirus. The measure has long been opposed by many Democrats, although it has been a top priority for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Sanders blew up the one-sided plan not to pay aid.
“While the COVID crisis is the worst it has ever been, Manchin-Romney not only does not provide direct payments, it does nothing to address the health crisis and provides completely inadequate assistance to the most vulnerable,” Sanders said. he said in a tweet. “It’s morally and economically wrong.”
Other progressive groups, such as Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, have also stepped up their calls for direct payments. Omar tweeted on Friday, it would be “immoral” to accept another rescue package that excluded them.
There is some GOP support for direct payments – Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has indicated he would not vote for an aid package that does not include these. SHE tweeted on Friday that he will “gladly work” with Ocasio-Cortez on the matter.
“If we don’t act now, the future will be very bleak”
The $ 908 billion compromise package was unveiled on Tuesday to launch aid talks after months of inactivity in Congress. A day later, he aroused the support of Congressional Democrat leaders.
Lawmakers are facing increasing pressure to approve another aid deal and pump more public cash into an economy showing signs of weakening. Viral cases and hospitalizations continue to grow across the country.
The November job report released on Friday showed the economy has restored 245,000 jobs – the slowest pace of recovery to date. In three weeks, a number of emergency rescue measures, such as an unemployment program and an eviction moratorium, will also expire if Congress does not intervene. About 12 million Americans are at risk of losing their unemployment benefits the day after Christmas.
Biden illustrated the deteriorating economic situation and said people were in dire need of federal help on Friday. “The people there aren’t looking for a publication. They just need help,” he said. “They are in trouble through no fault of their own. Nothing they did caused them for hours, losing their jobs or falling out of the market.”
He urged Democrats to support the compromise package. “I’m not alone in saying that this situation is urgent – if we don’t act now, the future will be very bleak,” he said.
The latest epidemic aid package funds $ 300 a week in federal unemployment benefits, small business support, and a federal dollar for public health systems and vaccinations. Lawmakers are also struggling to avoid a government shutdown on Dec. 11 and hand over dozens of spending bills to hand over.
Democratic support for the compromise plan will significantly reduce the multi-million dollar package advocated by Congressional Democrats over the past six months. Democrats have long insisted on a grand plan that includes another round of direct payments. But they were excluded from the bipartisan framework, presumably in order to keep their price tag below $ 1 trillion and gain additional Republican support.
Another round of payments will cost about $ 300 billion.
Republicans, meanwhile, have called for less spending to support the economy. Earlier this week, McConnell circulated a new $ 550 billion virus support proposal that skipped direct payments and did not include funding for federal unemployment benefits, both of which are key democratic priorities.
Instead, much of the resources would go to small businesses and schools. Among the most controversial provisions are the shield of responsibility and the resources provided to states and local governments. Republicans are firmly opposed to the latter, which was also left out of the McConnell proposal.