One of President Joe Biden’s top economics aides on Sunday will demand $ 1.9 trillion from senators from both parties to help coronavirus-affected Americans and prevent a widespread economic crisis.
National Economic Council director Brian Dees said he would urge senators to approve the proposed bailout plan.
“We can’t wait,” White House spokeswoman Karin Jean-Pierre told reporters. “The fact that Washington is at an impasse does not mean that it should continue to be at this impasse.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 417,000 Americans, infecting more than 175,000 people a day. Millions were left jobless, creating an immediate crisis for the Biden administration.
Biden built his campaign on the promise of a decisive fight against the pandemic, which was often downplayed by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Although Congress has already pledged $ 4 trillion in aid, the White House insists another $ 1.9 trillion is needed to cover the cost of fighting the virus and paying extended unemployment benefits and household benefits.
“The bottom line is that we are in a nationwide emergency and we need to act accordingly,” Biden said Friday, signing the economic aid orders.
Although Biden’s Democratic Party has a slim majority in the House and Senate, this legislative initiative is likely to require bipartisan support to overcome procedural hurdles.
Several Republicans have already expressed dissatisfaction with the cost of the bill.
Senator Mitt Romney, a moderate Republican, told Fox News that he would listen to what the White House had to say, but that “the overall figure is … shocking.”
“Spending and borrowing trillions of dollars from the Chinese, among other things, is not necessarily the best thing we can do to keep our economy strong in the long run,” Romney added.
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin expressed hope for a bipartisan spirit in the Senate.
“The goal is to see if there are any points of agreement that we can build on when considering this aid package,” he said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
The new president said that one of his top priorities will be the unification of the split country.