Biden backs $900B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill
President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday described the $900 billion congressional stimulus proposal as a “good start” and said he believed Congress should pass it.
“That would be a good start. It’s not enough,” Biden said during a Thursday interview with CNN host Jake Tapper.
“I think it should be passed,” Biden continued. “I’m going to ask for more … when we get there to get things done.”
Congressional leaders have failed to reach an agreement on another round of stimulus after months of negotiations with the White House.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers earlier this week unveiled a $908 billion compromise bill amid increasing pressure on Congress to pass a stimulus package to help businesses and American workers affected by the coronavirus-induced economic recession.
The measure is lower than the $2.2 trillion proposal embraced by House Democrats and higher than the $500 billion measure backed by Senate Republicans.
Negotiations picked up steam on Thursday as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) held talks about reaching a deal.
Trump also signaled Thursday that he would sign a coronavirus relief deal if Congress could pass one by year’s end.
“I want it to happen, and I believe they’re getting very close to a deal,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office after awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former football coach Lou Holtz.
Biden has called on Congress to pass a relief measure during the lame-duck session, but acknowledged it would likely fall short of the amount needed to help prop up the ailing economy amid the pandemic, which is surging across the country.
During an event where he unveiled his economic team on Tuesday, Biden said that “any package passed in lame-duck session is — at best — just a start.”
Biden on Thursday said that lawmakers should pass a deal that provides immediate assistance in the form of unemployment assistance and mortgage payment and rent relief.
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