President BidenJoe BidenHouse clears bill to provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustment On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit MORE on Friday chastised Republican
"What Republicans have proposed is either to do nothing, or not enough," Biden said in prepared remarks on his $1.9 trillion proposal. "All of a sudden many of them have rediscovered fiscal restraint and the concern for the deficits. But don’t kid yourself, this approach will come with a cost: more pain for more people for longer than it has to be."
Biden outlined his case for pushing the massive bill through Congress in order to get relief to the American people amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy.
He also voiced interest in securing bipartisan backing for the bill, but said he would not scale back his proposal or wait much longer to garner GOP support.
“If I have to choose between getting help right now to Americans who are hurting so badly and getting bogged down in a lengthy negotiation or compromising on a bill that’s up to the crisis — that’s an easy choice,” Biden said. “I’m going to help the American people that are hurting now.”
New figures released by the Labor Department on Friday showed the U.S. economy added 49,000 jobs during the month of January, a sign of a weak recovery as coronavirus cases remain high and businesses and workers feel the pain of closures and restrictions brought on by the virus.
Biden's proposal includes $1,400 in direct payments to most Americans and funding for schools and state and local governments, as well as money for increased vaccine distribution. But some Republicans have balked at the overall price, arguing Congress just passed a relief bill in December and pointing to mounting deficits.
The debt rose by trillions of dollars during former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE's four years in the White House despite his pledge to erase the country's deficit in eight years.
January also marked the worst month of the pandemic from a health perspective, as the country set records for deaths and cases per day even as the country increased its distribution of vaccines.
Democrats appear poised to push through Biden's proposal in the coming weeks.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (D-Calif.) laid out a timeline to pass the $1.9 trillion package by the end of the month, while the Senate early Friday morning passed a budget resolution in a party-line vote that would allow Democrats to advance Biden’s proposal without Republican support.