Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion spending package runs counter to viruses and downturns

Washington – President Elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday proposed a rescue package of 1.9 trillion to deal with the economic downturn and the Kovid-19 crisis, stating that Democrats had sought for months and supported a wide variety of signs that indicated a change in the federal. The government’s epidemic response to Mr. Biden assuming office.

The package includes more than $ 400 billion to directly combat the epidemic, including funding to accelerate vaccine deployment and to safely reopen most schools within 100 days. Another $ 350 billion will help state and local governments meet budgetary shortfalls, while the plan includes $ 1,400 direct payments to individuals, more generous unemployment benefits, jointly compulsory payments for workers and childcare costs Large subsidies will be involved.

“During this epidemic, millions of Americans, through no fault of their own, have lost the dignity and respect that comes with jobs and salaries,” Mr. Biden said in a speech to the nation. “There is a huge pain in the real economy.”

He accepted the high price tag but said the nation could do nothing less. “The very health of our nation is at stake,” said Mr. Biden, saying that “does not come cheaply, but failure to do so will cost us dearly.”

Mr. Biden took swift action to shape the agenda at the time of the national crisis and one day later Impeachment of President Trump in the House. While this reflects a political shift in Washington as Democrats take control of Congress, support for Mr. Biden’s program will immediately run into challenges, beginning with the possibility that Mr. Trump’s Senate trial may delay its passage.

It is also unclear how easily Mr. Biden can secure enough votes for such an ambition and spending plan, especially in the Senate. A Democratic victory in two Georgia special elections last week gave Mr. Biden the party control over the Senate – but by a margin of 50–50 after Vice President Elect Kamala Harris voted. Mr. Biden would have to compensate for any defective liberal Democrats with Republican votes in a time of rare bipolarity.

Mr Biden said lawmakers would need to come together for the betterment of the nation, and that “unity is not something found in the dream of the sky – it is a practical step to achieve the things we need to do in a country.” See you to get in form. Together. “

His speech on Thursday came as an incredibly challenging moment Virus cases keep climbing, Millions of workers are sidelined and America’s partisan divisions are threatening to tear it apart. A week later a The mob attacked the capital To circumvent congressional certification for Mr. Biden’s victory, Washington has come to resemble an armed camp, with steel barricades erected across the city and armed law enforcement policing the streets.

More than 20,000 National Guards are feared to be flooded in Washington ahead of Mr. Biden’s swearing-in ceremony on January 20.

The economic rebound from the epidemic downturn has also reversed amid a winter surge of viruses and new waves of restrictions on economic activity in cities and states.

The Labor Department said on Thursday that 1.15 million Americans file new unemployment claims In the first full week of the new year, a 25 percent increase from the previous week. Another 284,000 claims were filed for pandemic unemployment assistance, an emergency federal program for workers such as freelancers who are generally not eligible for unemployed benefits. The department shed 140,000 jobs in December, the department reported last week.

Mr. Biden’s aides say the urgency of this time proposed to give the president-elect a bigger economic blow than the Obama administration took office in the midst of the 2009 recession. Biden’s proposal is more than 50 percent higher than Obama’s. -Badden stimulus, after adjusting for inflation, and it comes on top of the multibillion-dollar funding that Congress approved last year under Mr. Trump.

The package reflected the scope of the challenge facing the economy and the country’s health system. In a briefing on Thursday, a Biden official mentioned that the incoming White House team had estimated that the current national plan and infrastructure for mass vaccination and testing was too under-developed.

Mr. Biden detailed his so-called US rescue plan in an evening speech in Delaware, effectively kicking off his presidency and placing him in the brightest spotlight since his nomination acceptance speech last summer at the Democratic National Convention .

The presidential-election gave an immediate, but optimistic tone, saying that the United States could overcome its current challenges.

“Out of all the crises of the moment, I want you to know that I see promise,” Mr. Biden said. “I’m as optimistic as I’ve ever been.”

The plan was praised by progressive groups, as well as the nation’s major business lobby, the US Chamber of Commerce, which frequently accompanied the Obama administration about spending and regulations. “We applaud vaccination and the presidential-election focus on economic sectors and families, which continue as an epidemic,” the chamber said in a statement.

Republicans were largely silent on the plan, including the type of state and local aid that became an important point in last year’s stimulus talks. It was only after such assistance that Congress agreed to a $ 900 billion package in December. Withdrawn. But Mr Biden underscored his justification for including such funds, saying it was important to avoid cuts and layoffs that would set back the fight against the virus and further damage the economy.

“Millions of people are risking their lives, the same people are now at risk of losing their jobs: police officers, firefighters, all first responders, nurses, teachers,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr Biden’s “rescue” proposal, which will be financed entirely through increased federal borrowing, flows from the idea that viruses and recovery are interconnected and the economy cannot rebound without mass vaccination .

A Labor Economist at the Carlson School of Management in Minnesota, who works at the White House Council of Economic, said, “The successful rollout of the vaccine to the economy, and the reduction of the risk of social and economic activity, and the risk of social and economic activity Needs reduction “. Advisor under Obama and Trump administration. “This will go a long way towards promoting recovery. It will not go away at all, but it will go a lot further.

Mr. Biden, who has promised to get “100 Million Kovid Vaccines” Shot “in the arms of the American people” until his 100th day in office, he said last week that he intended to drop nearly all available coronavirus vaccine vials, rather than withdrawing something as the Trump administration was doing.

A $ 20 billion “national vaccine program” he announced on Thursday at community immunization centers across the country. In recent speeches, he has stated that he would like to see large-scale vaccination sites by high school gymnasiums, sports stadiums and the like, perhaps by staff of the National Guard or Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Mr. Biden also called for a “public health jobs program” that would address its goals of boosting the economy and response to Kovid-19 while rebuilding the country’s fragile public health infrastructure. The proposal would fund 100,000 public health workers to engage in vaccine outreach and contact tracing.

At the same time, Mr. Biden is eager to address the racial disparities so traumatized by the racial virus epidemic that has adversely claimed the lives and jobs of people of color. He promised to increase funding for community health centers and to fund efforts to reduce the epidemic in prisons and jails, where black people and Latino are overpriced.

In his remarks, Mr. Biden lamented the “growing hunger crisis”, especially among minority communities, stating: “More than one person in America’s five black and latino homes reported that they had enough to eat.” There is no food. It is wrong. It is sad. It is unacceptable. “

He proposed a range of efforts to help those who have suffered the most in economic pulls. His plan would provide emergency paid leave to 106 million Americans, regardless of the size of their employer, a proposal that many congressional Republicans worked to back in the stimulus bill passed last spring. And it would extend tax credits to many families to compensate for up to $ 8,000 in annual child care costs.

It provides billions of dollars in rental assistance and grants to millions of difficult small businesses. This temporarily increases the size of the two tax credits, which would effectively provide more cash to low-income workers and families from the government. And it will extend expanded unemployment benefits through the end of September, with an additional $ 400 weekly supplement.

Mr. Biden also asked Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 per hour, a priority during his campaign.

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Mr. Biden planned to unveil another set of spending proposals in February, and he began to do groundwork to finance his efforts. Tax on corporations and the rich increased. He drew a sharp contrast between the agony of low-paid workers and those struggling with the richest Americans without a paycheck, stating that “there are growing divisions among the few who are doing quite well in this economy Are – and the rest of America. “

“Ever since this epidemic began, the wealth of the top 1 percent has risen by about $ 1.5 trillion since the end of last year – four times the amount for the entire lower 50 percent,” he said.

The second package is expected to focus on job creation and infrastructure, including healthcare and education spending, as well as spending hundreds of billions of dollars on clean energy projects such as electric vehicle charging stations.

Mr. Biden has said that he will work to build Republican support for his plans, and that he will need 10 Republican votes in the Senate to overcome a film. But the top Democrats in the House and Senate are Preparing to pivot quickly A parliamentary process known as reconciliation in the budget can only get a simple majority in the Senate. Republicans used the process to bypass a filming and in 2017 approved Mr. Trump’s signature tax cuts.

Republicans refused to consider an incentive package of more than $ 1 trillion below the size of the last congressional relief bill passed in December. Mr. Biden’s aides said Thursday he was confident that the nearly $ 2 trillion package he proposed would gain widespread support among Democrats when interest rates remain low and many economists spend losses from lawmakers to boost economic growth Urging to do.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg Contributed to reporting.

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