Biden says a $ 1,200 stimulus check “can still play” in Covid’s aid talks

President-elect Joe Biden said Friday that another coronavirus stimulus test for U.S. families “may still be in play.”

“I think it would be better if they had $ 1,200 [payments to families], ”Biden said when asked at a press conference to respond to criticisms of the new Covid relief plan unveiled this week, which will serve as a starting point for the latest round of talks on Capitol Hill.

Biden added: “And I understand that it’s still in play. But I’m not going to comment on the specific details. The purpose is to make sure people don’t throw away their homes, lose their homes, are able to insure against unemployment. [that] they can continue to feed their families as soon as we grow the farm back. “

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., supported a bipartisan $ 908 billion relief plan with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

On Friday, Pelosi told reporters “there is momentum” for lawmakers to reach an agreement.

Biden backed the plan as a “good start,” but promised to seek further help when his administration takes over. At the press conference, Biden did not say if he had spoken to McConnell.

The proposal does not include a second $ 1,200 direct payment to the majority of Americans. For months, Pelosi and Schumer asked for another stimulus check as part of the trillion aid they wanted to hope for.

When democratic leaders gave way and asked to start negotiations around the $ 908 billion measure, they remarked that “we and others will offer improvements.”

Some congressional advocates have questioned how much relief a bill would help if it didn’t include direct payments or a powerful unemployment insurance supplement. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Acting. He said he would only support the bill if it included an incentive check or eliminated Republicans ’liability shield claims, according to NBC News.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y. MP told NBC News that he would be open to support the package. Nevertheless, he criticized the lack of direct payments.

The bipartisan plan includes funding for the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program’s small business loans, facilities for state and local governments that may need to reduce basic services and money needed for schools. This includes money for transportation and distribution of vaccines.

Skeptics including Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez fear they won’t put enough money right into the pockets of Americans. While it allows for $ 300 a week in increased federal unemployment benefits, the amount is half of the $ 600 a week salary approved by Congress in March. The provision expired in July.

Biden had previously approved a significantly larger aid bill, which was approved for the house earlier this year. At a news conference on Friday, he noted that the $ 908 billion proposal was “an advance only.”

Still, Biden signaled a willingness to compromise and said he was confident the congressional stalemate would give way to an agreement in time to “prevent us from getting here from the edge.”

“If you stick to everything, you probably won’t get anything from both sides,” Biden said.