January 20, 2021

Facing Intensifying Crises, Biden Pledges Action to Address Economy and Pandemic

When asked whether Mr. Cruz should resign, Mr. Biden said, “I think they should be just flat beaten the next time they run. I think the American public has a real good, clear look at who they are. They are part of the big lie.”

Mr. Biden said he was scheduled to unveil his legislative program for addressing the coronavirus crisis and its economic consequences on Thursday, six days before his inauguration as the 46th president.

Mr. Biden’s economic team is deep into the process of developing proposals for a second stimulus bill and a larger economic package, including spending on infrastructure and tax increases on the rich. Aides and top congressional Democrats hope to speed the package through Congress once Mr. Biden takes office.

“A devastating pandemic, an economic crisis, a country riven by political division and mistrust, institutions badly damaged and global alliances shredded,” said David Axelrod, who served as a political adviser to Mr. Obama during his first two years in the White House. “He has his hands full.”

Mr. Biden and his aides have been particularly struck by two grim numbers in the jobs report on Friday: the loss of nearly 500,000 jobs in December in the leisure and hospitality industry, and of thousands of jobs in public education — a warning sign that state budget cuts could further hold back the recovery in months to come.

They are particularly focused on direct checks to individuals, a policy that Mr. Biden and Democratic Senate candidates hammered in Georgia’s runoff elections that gave their party control of the chamber, and on efforts to fight the pandemic by accelerating testing for the virus and the deployment of vaccines.

The contours of those proposals are beginning to take shape. The stimulus package will include Mr. Biden’s call for an additional $1,400 in direct payments to adults and children who qualified for $600 payments approved in the lame-duck stimulus passed last month, bringing the total benefit to $2,000 per individual.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/08/us/politics/biden-economy-pandemic.html

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