Biden’s economic plan to focus on immediate rescue from COVID-19 crisis -adviser

Biden’s economic plan to focus on immediate rescue from COVID-19 crisis -adviser



2/2

©
Reuters.
FILE
PHOTO:
U.S.
President-elect
Joe
Biden
walks
into
the
Queen
Theatre
in
Wilmington



2/2

By
Trevor
Hunnicutt

(Reuters)

President-elect
Joe
Biden
will
press
Congress
on
Thursday
to
deliver
immediate
pandemic
“rescue”
efforts
before
turning
to
broader
“recovery”
measures
like
healthcare
and
infrastructure,
the
incoming
administration’s
top
economic
adviser
said
on
Wednesday.

In
an
appearance
at
Reuters
Next,
Brian
Deese,
who
will
head
the
National
Economic
Council
in
the
new
Democratic
administration,
said
Biden
will
lay
out
a
two-track
economic
plan.

The
first
will
be
a
“rescue
bucket,”
including
rounding
out
the
$2,000
payments
he
wanted
to
help
weather
the
COVID-19
downturn,
and
a
longer-term
recovery
effort
that
aims
to
deliver
on
the
Build
Back
Better
plan
he
laid
out
during
the
presidential
campaign.

He
said
the
transition
team
has
already
started
briefing
senior
Democratic
and
Republican
lawmakers
on
the
proposal,
which
will
be
unveiled
on
Thursday.

The
proposal
will
include
the
direct
payments,
money
to
ramp
up
a
national
vaccinations
effort,
testing,
contact
tracing
and
funding
to
get
most
schools
reopened
shortly.

“What
you
are
going
to
hear
from
the
president-elect
is
a
robust
effort
to
get
at
that
issue
of

relief
and
at
the
same
time
signal
the
need
to
begin
working
on
those
investments
in
the
recovery,”
said
Deese.

“We
need
an
immediate
rescue
package
that
finishes
the
work
that
Congress
took
an
important
step
on
in
December,
but
left
a
lot
of
work
undone.
We
need
to
focus
immediately
again
on
underwriting
the
investments
necessary
to
make
a
nationwide
vaccination
program
work.”

Biden
estimated
last
week
that
his
plan
would
cost
“trillions”
of
dollars,
investments
he
said
were
needed
to
stave
off
long-term
damage
and
human
suffering
as
the
labor
market
wobbles.

The
Democrat,
who
takes
office
on
Jan.
20,
emerged
emboldened
from
a
pair
of
Senate
elections
this
week
in
Georgia
that
handed
Democrats
a
majority
in
that
chamber
to
complement
control
of
the
House
of
Representatives.
The
majorities
could
allow
Biden
to
pass
larger
spending
bills.

Yet
Republicans
and
even
some
Democrats
may
be
resistant
to
greater
deficit-fueled
spending,
with
Sen.
Joe
Manchin,
a
Democrat
from
West
Virginia,
among
those
who
initially
greeted
the
idea
skeptically.

Deese
pointed
to
the
most
recent
U.S.
employment
report,
which
showed
140,000
jobs
lost
in
December

the
first
decline
in
payrolls
since
April

as
a
warning
that
must
be
heeded.

“The
December
jobs
report
I
think
is
a
signal
for
all
of
us
to
take
very
seriously
that
the
trajectory
of
the
virus
and
the
trajectory
of
the
economy
are
not
where
they
need
to
be,”
Deese
said.


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