Jump to content

'We can't wait:' Biden pushes U.S. Congress for $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief


Recommended Posts

'We can't wait:' Biden pushes U.S. Congress for $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief

By Susan Cornwell and Andrea Shalal

 

2021-01-24T172340Z_1_LYNXMPEH0N0BX_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-USA-CONGRESS.JPG

FILE PHOTO: A person drives past a Los Angeles Regional Food Bank semi trailer at a drive-thru food distribution in West Covina, California, U.S. December 29, 2020. REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Biden administration and Democratic and Republican lawmakers discussing a new $1.9 trillion in coronavirus relief agreed on Sunday that the most important priority should be producing and efficiently distributing a vaccine.

 

An aide to a Democrat who was on the call with Brian Deese, one of President Joe Biden's top economic aides, said the discussion had been "robust" and that the two sides would continue to work together.

 

Deese, director of the National Economic Council, had said he would have a call with the senators as part of a push by the Biden administration to make the case for a large rescue plan.

 

"We can't wait," White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters before the call. "Just because Washington has been gridlocked before doesn't mean it needs to continue to be gridlocked."

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 417,000 Americans, thrown millions out of work and is infecting more than 175,000 Americans a day, posing an immediate crisis to the Biden administration. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi)

 

Biden, who took office on Wednesday, campaigned on a promise to take aggressive action on the pandemic, which his predecessor, President Donald Trump, often downplayed.

 

The Trump administration lagged far behind its target of 20 million Americans inoculated by the end of 2020. There was no plan in place for how to distribute the vaccine to millions of Americans when Biden took over, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said on Sunday.

 

While Congress has already authorized $4 trillion to respond, the White House says an additional $1.9 trillion is needed to cover the costs of responding to the virus and provide enhanced jobless benefits and payments to households.

 

The Democratic aide said "everyone agreed" on the call, which included some House of Representatives members as well as senators, that the No. 1 need was quickly producing and efficiently distributing the vaccine nationally.

 

'NATIONAL EMERGENCY'

"The bottom line is this: We're in a national emergency, and we need to act like we're in a national emergency," Biden said on Friday before signing executive orders on economic relief.

 

Although Biden’s Democratic Party narrowly controls the House and Senate, the legislation will likely need bipartisan support to become law.

 

"There was a robust discussion and this bipartisan group will continue to work together, discussing a pathway forward on another relief package," the Democratic aide said.

 

Some Republicans have balked at the price.

 

Republican Senator Mitt Romney said he would listen to the White House, but told "Fox News Sunday" before the call that the $1.9 trillion figure was "shocking."

 

"Spending and borrowing trillions of dollars from the Chinese among others is not necessarily the best thing we can do to get our economy to be strong long term," Romney said.

 

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer acknowledged remarks from some Republicans had not been positive.

 

He hoped they would see the need after Sunday's call.

 

"But if they don't, there are tools we can use to move forward on our own. And we will," Schumer told reporters in New York. He said those included a process that allows major legislation to pass the Senate on a simple majority.

 

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said he hoped for bipartisanship. "The object is trying to see if there's an area of agreement we can launch when it comes to this rescue package," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

 

Biden has said a top priority would be unifying a divided country. Trump's tenure drew to a close with his second impeachment by the House after supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in a deadly bid to overturn his election loss.

 

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell, Andrea Shalal and Doina Chiacu; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Scott Malone, Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney)

 

reuters_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-01-25
 
Link to post
Share on other sites

I won’t hold my breath.  Never got the 1st stimulus check, and still waiting for the second one.  They don’t seem to like married filing jointly, when one spouse uses an ITIN.

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There is more pork fat in those Coronavirus bills then meat.  It's basically as slab of fat for special interests with a tiny ribbon of meat for the American public and business who needs it.  And this isn't partisan.  All political parties and politicos are guilty as hell.  All the special interest pork fat needs to be trimmed off and that 1,9 Trillion needs to go to building back American small businesses with the banks distributing that monies highly regulated.
Will it happen?

NP1.jpeg.95786f0e45902b738d0d96fabf49e0af.jpeg

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Phoenix Rising said:

Agree 100%. Make it (however imperfectly) dependent on your financial situation and don't give a dime to those who refuse to get vaccinated.

Yes just because its difficult and imperfect doesn't mean they shouldn't try. Better imperfect than wasting so much money on people that don't need it.

 

Even more so now as its not an election year. There is an obvious political benefit to sending most everyone checks during an election year  Cynical as that is its real.

Edited by Jingthing
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

I'm left of center but  I would like to limit any further disbursements to citizens and businesses that actually need the money. That's messy to determine for sure and it can't be even close to perfect but sending this money to wealthy people to bank it seems nutty. I like big government but I also like more efficient and equitable government.

I don't recall the income limit, but the previous disbursements were only given to people below a certain income level based on their previous years taxes.   

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jingthing said:

I'm left of center but  I would like to limit any further disbursements to citizens and businesses that actually need the money. That's messy to determine for sure and it can't be even close to perfect but sending this money to wealthy people to bank it seems nutty. I like big government but I also like more efficient and equitable government.

Just trust 'Honest Joe'...The least the new government could do is to introduce swingeing tax reforms and increase taxes all round. Joe and Kamala have a mandate for tax increases. They should announce tax increase sooner rather than later...The next election is less than 4 years away!

  • Haha 1
  • Confused 2
  • Sad 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...