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Biden calls for big spending on stimulus and vaccines



WASHINGTON-President-elect Biden is expected to spend the trillions of dollars in government spending on Thursday to combat the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact. The initial focus is on the nation’s large-scale expansion of vaccination procedures and virus testing capabilities .

Mr. Biden will detail the plans he and his economic team have honed for several weeks in an evening speech in Delaware. The incoming chairman of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, said at the next Reuters meeting on Wednesday that these efforts will cover the pandemic, the economy, health care, education, climate change and other domestic priorities. Senior Democrats in Congress said recently that they are preparing for an effort to span the two bills.

“At this moment, the president-elect believes that we need to be active in both rescue and recovery,” Mr. Deze said.

With the winter virus outbreak and a new wave of restrictions on urban and state economic activity, the United States’ rebound from a pandemic recession has reversed. The Labor Department reported on Thursday that in the first week of the new year, 1.15 million Americans filed new unemployment applications, a 25% increase from the previous week. There are also 284,000 claims for pandemic unemployment assistance, a federal emergency program designed to provide services to freelancers and other workers who are not normally eligible for unemployment benefits. The department reported last week that the country had cut 140,000 jobs in December.

Diss said that because there are still millions of people still struggling, Biden’s initial stimulus plan announced will include the completion of direct payments of $2,000 to individuals and funding for small businesses and local and state government assistance. The person who introduced Biden’s ideas to others said that he will also call for the first legislation to include an extension of supplementary federal unemployment benefits, which will expire in March, for many workers and for renters. more help.

Mr. Diss said that the first set of plans also includes a substantial increase in vaccine deployment, testing and contact tracing expenditures, and Biden will seek sufficient funds to allow most schools to open in an effort to increase labor participation.

Mr. Diss said: “We need to open schools so that parents, especially women, who have been seriously injured in the economic downturn, can resume work.”

Transition team officials will not say on Wednesday how much Mr. Biden’s proposal might cost, nor will they announce cost estimates on Thursday. Biden said last week that he expects his entire agenda to cost “trillion dollars.”

The proposals in the second batch may be larger than those in the first batch. The Democratic Party plans to pay for all or part of the proposals by raising taxes on companies and the wealthy. Biden’s team and major congressional Democrats said that the second package is expected to center on job creation and infrastructure, including hundreds of billions of dollars in spending on clean energy projects such as electric vehicle charging stations, as well as healthcare. And education expenditure. .

According to the Covid-19 relief bill passed by Congress last year, the first bill is likely to be funded by the deficit.

Biden has said that he will work hard to win Republican support for his plan, and he will need 10 Republican votes in the Senate to defeat the opposition. However, if the top Democrats in the House of Representatives and Senate can only obtain a simple majority in the Senate, they are preparing to quickly move to a parliamentary process called a budget reconciliation. Republicans used this procedure to bypass the opposition and approved Mr. Trump’s signature tax cuts in 2017.

People familiar with the matter said that Democrats on both sides of the Capitol-including New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who will become the leader of the majority party-urge Biden to spend more than he originally planned in the original relief bill. Much money.

Many Democrats in the House and Senate pressured Biden this week to add items to the first bill, including targeted assistance for restaurants and the temporary extension of income tax credits and children’s tax credits. It will cost more than 100 billion US dollars. . Economists say that when many low-income parents lose their jobs and turn to food banks for help, expanding these lines of credit can greatly reduce child poverty.

Members of Congress can include the expansion of these honors in federal legislation, regardless of whether Mr. Biden requires it. After Congress passed a $900 billion aid bill that did not include a complete list of Democrats’ priorities in December, Mr. Schumer asked committee members to draft laws that should include the expansion of these tax credits and additional direct payments to states and localities. And aid the government.

The Democrats also urged Mr. Biden to include in his proposal the automatic extension of federal unemployment benefits and other assistance until the unemployment rate drops to a prescribed level, just in case Congress no longer approves more rescue bills in the future.


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