Biden to unveil plan to pump $1.5 trillion into pandemic-hit economy

Biden to unveil plan to pump $1.5 trillion into pandemic-hit economy

By
Jeff
Mason
and
Jarrett
Renshaw

WILMINGTON,
Del.
(Reuters)

President-elect
Joe
Biden
will
unveil
a
stimulus
package
proposal
on
Thursday
designed
to
jump-start
the
economy
during
the
coronavirus
pandemic
with
an
economic
lifeline
that
could
exceed
$1.5
trillion
and
help
minority
communities.

Biden
campaigned
last
year
on
a
promise
to
take
the
pandemic
more
seriously
than
President
Donald
Trump,
and
the
package
aims
to
put
that
pledge
into
action
with
an
influx
of
resources
for
the
coronavirus
vaccine
rollout
and
economic
recovery.

The
incoming
administration
will
work
with
Congress
on
the
quick
stimulus
package
after
Biden
takes
office
on
Jan.
20,
although
the
impeachment
of
Trump
threatens
to
consume
lawmakers
in
the
initial
weeks.

The
stimulus
package
has
a
price
tag
above
$1.5
trillion
and
includes
a
commitment
for
$1,400
stimulus
checks,
according
to
a
source
familiar
with
the
proposal,
and
Biden
is
expected
to
commit
to
partner
with
private
companies
to
increase
the
number
of
Americans
getting
vaccinated.

A
significant
portion
of
the
additional
financial
resources
will
be
dedicated
to
minority
communities.
“I
think
you
will
see
a
real
emphasis
on
these
underserved
communities,
where
there
is
a
lot
of
hard
work
to
do,”
said
another
transition
official.

Biden
plans
to
introduce
his
package
during
a
prime-time
address
on
Thursday
evening,
underscoring
the
seriousness
of
the
topic,
but
he
will
have
to
compete
for
attention
with
the
political
drama
in
Washington.

The
Democratic-led
House
of
Representatives
voted
to
impeach
Trump
on
Wednesday,
making
him
the
first
president
in
U.S.
history
to
be
impeached
twice.
Ten
of
his
fellow
Republicans
joined
Democrats
to
charge
him
with
inciting
an
insurrection
in
last
week’s
deadly
rampage
in
the
Capitol.

The
impeachment
proceedings
threaten
to
hang
over
the
beginning
of
Biden’s
term.

In
a
statement
on
Wednesday
night,
Biden
said:
“I
hope
that
the
Senate
leadership
will
find
a
way
to
deal
with
their
Constitutional
responsibilities
on
impeachment
while
also
working
on
the
other
urgent
business
of
this
nation.”

The
Democratic
president-elect
said
last
week
the
stimulus
package
would
be
“in
the
trillions
of
dollars”
and
argued
that
more
spending
early
on
would
reduce
the
long-term
economic
damage
from
the
shutdowns
spurred
by
the
pandemic.

He
also
said
there
would
be
“billions
of
dollars”
to
speed
up
vaccine
distribution,
along
with
money
to
help
reopen
schools
and
for
state
and
local
governments
to
avoid
laying
off
teachers,
police
officers
and
health
workers.

More
than
380,000
people
in
the
United
States
have
died
of
COVID-19
during
the
pandemic,
with
22.7
million
infected
during
that
time.
Pandemic-related
shutdowns
and
restrictions
have
cost
millions
of
U.S.
jobs.

Although
Trump
himself
supported
$2,000
checks
for
Americans
in
the
last
round
of
stimulus,
many
of
his
fellow
Republicans
balked
at
the
high
amount,
settling
on
$600
checks
instead.
Biden
may
face
additional
opposition
from
Republicans
to
his
efforts,
but
he
will
be
helped
by
the
fact
that
his
fellow
Democrats
will
control
both
the
House
and
the
Senate.

Biden’s
incoming
White
House
economic
adviser,
Brian
Deese,
told
Reuters
on
Wednesday
the
president-elect
would
press
Congress
to
pass
immediate
stimulus
measures
and
then
turn
to
longer-term
economic
recovery
measures
related
to
healthcare
and
infrastructure.


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