President Joe Biden told House Democrats on Wednesday that he is not a complete number ‘married’ on his proposed $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package, but wants it to include $ 1,400 direct cash payments.
United States President Joe Biden told House Democrats on Wednesday that he had “not married” a full number in his $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue plan, but that Congress was “swiftly” relieved of the epidemic and economic crisis Work “.
Biden also said he does not want to recover from his proposed $ 1,400 direct payment that he said was promised to Americans.
“Look, a lot of people are hurt in our country today,” Biden said. “We need to act. We need to act fast. We need to restore the soul of the country. “
On direct payment, he said, “I am not going to start my administration by breaking a promise to the American people.”
The meeting with House Democrats comes as Speaker combines lawmakers with their public engagements with pandemic aid and an economic reform package, along with their first legislative priority and a test of the administration’s ability to deliver. Biden’s remarks to the Democratic caucus were relayed by two people who requested anonymity to discuss a private conference call.
While Biden is trying to garner bipartisan support from Republicans, he is also willing to rely on a Democratic majority in Congress to advance his top agenda item in legislation. Republicans prioritize the $ 618bn option, overly objecting to his package, but Biden maintains that he continues to hold private talks with Republicans on potential areas of the deal, despite being insufficient.
Later meeting with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the top Senate Democrats in the Oval Office, the president expressed confidence Wednesday that the relief would still win on the GOP’s votes and be bipartisan.
“I think we’ll meet some Republicans,” he said at the beginning of the meeting.
With a growing viral death and stressed economy, the goal is to have COVID-19 relief approved by March, when additional unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid measures expire. Money for vaccine delivery, direct payment to homes, re-training in school and vocational assistance is at stake.
As lawmakers in Congress begin drafting package details as part of a budget process, Biden is taking care to shore up his allies, while also ensuring that the final product bolsters relief for a rigid nation Fulfills its promise to.
House Democrats were told on the president’s call that they could be flexible on certain numbers and schedules, and “better target” direct payments, but should not fall back on the size or scope of aid.
“We have to go big, not small,” Biden told the Democrats. “I’ve got your back, and you’ve got mine.”
As the White House approaches a bipartisan bill, Democrats backed their ever-softening Senate majority, voting 50-49 on Tuesday and beginning a long process to approve Biden’s bill with or without Republican support. to do. The House is scheduled to begin its process on Wednesday with preliminary votes.
Rapid action in Tuesday’s outreach for Congress follows as Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen joined Democratic senators for a private virtual meeting, both declaring Republicans’ $ 618bn proposal too small.
Both Biden and Yellen recalled lessons from the government’s response to the 2009 financial crisis, which some have said was insufficient given the situation.
Schumer said of the Republican proposal: “If we did a package that was small, we would be in a COV crisis for years.”
Biden is stressing the need to work and not forget middle-class families – those nurses and pipefitters earned $ 150,000 for a family of four.
Earlier in the week, Biden met with 10 Republican senators, pitching their $ 618bn option, and told them it wasn’t enough. He He said he would not delay aid in hopes of winning GOP support.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell criticized the Democrats for largely suppressing themselves as GOP senators try to provide a bipartisan alternative.
“They have chosen a completely partisan path,” McConnell said. “He is unfortunate.”
The two sides are different. The cornerstone of the GOP plan is $ 160 billion for healthcare response: vaccine delivery, testing for rural hospitals, protective gear, and a “large-scale expansion” of funds – as Biden proposed for specific support for the epidemic .
But from there, both plans fell drastically. Biden proposed $ 170bn for schools, compared to $ 20bn in the Republican plan. Republicans also owe the states nothing, money that Democrats argue is as important as Biden, with $ 350 billion in plans to hire police, firefighters and other workers.
GOP’s $ 1,000 direct payments go to fewer people – those who make $ 40,000 per year, or $ 80,000 for couples. Biden’s large $ 1,400 payment would go up to higher income levels, up to $ 300,000 for some families.
Republican paycheck protection programs offer $ 40 billion for vocational assistance. But gone are Democratic priorities such as the gradual raising of the federal minimum wage to $ 15 per hour.
It would be important to win the support of 10 Republicans, potentially requiring advance legislation to reach the 60-vote threshold to allow Biden the necessary votes in the 50-50 Senate. Vice President Kamala Harris is the tie-breaker.
But Democrats pushed ahead with Tuesday’s vote, laying the groundwork for final approval under the budget reconciliation process that would allow the bill to pass with a 51-vote Senate majority.
White House officials have previously cited the US Chamber of Commerce as evidence of widespread support for its plan, but the country’s most prominent trade group urged a compromise on Tuesday.