U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday urged lawmakers to adopt a coronovirus aid package that has been stuck in Congress for months, and promises more action to revitalize the economy after taking office next month.
At its peak this summer, expanded federal unemployment benefits cost an estimated $ 12 billion a week in personal bank accounts, which turn into spending, padded savings and fuel.
But those benefits wear off by the end of this year, with a coronovirus vaccine rolled out while calling for a more extensive safety net.
Biden said the whole of Congress should come together and provide a strong relief package to meet these urgent needs.
A bipartisan group of US lawmakers on Tuesday unveiled a $ 908 billion COVID-19 relief bill aimed at breaking the long-standing deadlock between Democrats and Republicans for small businesses, the unemployed, airlines and other industries. .
Biden said that before taking office on Jan. 20, Congress passed any package that “initially would be the best.”
“My transition team is already working, which I will argue at the next Congress as we face a lot of crises, especially our economic and COVID crises,” Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware in Case of.
He was speaking with his selection for senior economic roles, as well as a candidate for former Treasury Secretary, former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, who said it was “an American tragedy due to the ‘epidemic and economic damage in the United States ”.
“It is essential that we move forward urgently. Inaction will cause self-reinforcement to slow down, which will wreak more havoc right now, ”Yellen said.
The composition of the economics team reinforces Biden’s view that economic recovery from the epidemic requires a more aggressive approach. The advisers expressed support for government incentives aimed at maximizing employment for all, reducing economic inequalities and helping women and minorities who have been hit hard by the recession.
According to official figures, the Reuters tally shows the United States is in the throes of a new wave of COVID-19 infections, with more than 4 million new cases and more than 35,000 coronovirus-related deaths in November.
The virus is likely to disrupt production in factories. Manufacturing output is still around 5% below its pre-epidemic level according to the Fed.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday that the death toll from coronoviruses in the United States had risen to 267,302.
Treasury Secretary Steve Menuchin and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi were scheduled to speak on Tuesday about COVID-19 aid and government funding. The two have not spoken to each other since talks erupted over coronovirus relief ahead of the November 3 election.
Other choices Biden made for his economics team include Cecilia Rouse, an economist at Princeton University who chairs the Economic Advisory Board; Economists Heather Baushey and Jared Bernstein as board members; And Neera Tandon, executive director of the Center for American Progress think tank, heads the office of management and budget.
Russia will be the first black woman to head the Economic Advisory Council, which advises the president on economic policy; Tandon will be the first woman of color to lead the OMB; And Yellen will be the first female secretary of the treasury.
All three will require confirmation from the Senate. Many Republicans, who currently hold a slim majority in the House, have voiced their opposition to Tenden, a Washington veteran who has blockages right and left. The Senate will decide on the control of the second round of the elections to be held in Georgia on January 5.
The transition to a Biden administration has intensified despite false claims by Republican President Donald Trump that he lost the election as a result of electoral fraud.
Arizona and Wisconsin, two battlegrounds where Trump followed unsuccessful efforts to reverse the results, each vouched for Biden’s victory on Monday. Authenticating vote totals is usually a formality, but Trump’s accusations have added to the process.
The Trump campaign on Tuesday asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to determine whether 221,000 missing ballots that allegedly lacked information should be excluded from the vote total. Biden won the state by nearly 20,000 votes.
Trump has pursued a series of court challenges in several states, but none have gained significant advantage for the president. Most of the lawsuits were dismissed by judges, who expressed doubts over the claim that the election results are illegitimate.
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