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Biden calls on Congress to quickly take action on aid package

Biden calls on Congress to quickly take action on aid package
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President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden prepares to confront Putin Ukrainian president thanks G-7 nations for statement of support Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting MORE on Tuesday urged Congress to take immediate action on a coronavirus aid package, stating that the money is essential for widespread vaccine distribution. 

The former vice president said that with the funding, he will be able to deliver 100 million vaccines to the American public in the first 100 days of his presidency. 

"This will be one of the hardest, most costly operational challenges in our nation's history," Biden said, speaking from Wilmington, Del. "We're going to need Congress to fully fund vaccine distribution to all corners of the country, to everyone." 

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"I'm encouraged by the bipartisan efforts in Congress around a $900 billion economic relief package, which I've said is critical," he continued. "But this package is only a start for more action early next year. We must also focus significant resources on direct public health response to COVID-19." 

"Our preliminary review of Trump administration vaccine distribution plans confirms media reports: Without urgent action by this Congress this month to put sufficient resources into vaccine distribution and manufacturing, which the bipartisan group is working on, there's a real chance that after an early round of vaccinations, the effort will slow and stall," Biden said.

"We need Congress to finish the bipartisan work underway or millions of Americans may wait months longer to get the vaccine," he added.

Biden's pledge for 100 million vaccinations during the first 100 days of his presidency is one part of his three-pronged approach to combat the virus, which includes asking Americans to wear a mask for at least 100 days and reopening the majority of U.S. schools if Congress acts. 

Negotiators on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach an end-of-year deal to fund the government and provide Americans aid as the pandemic continues to ravage the country. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWhat the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship Democrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill McConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday called on Democrats to make a deal with the GOP on areas of agreement like vaccine funding and more aid to small businesses. 

However, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerIt's not just Manchin: No electoral mandate stalls Democrats' leftist agenda DOJ to probe Trump-era subpoenas of lawmaker records Democrats demand Barr, Sessions testify on Apple data subpoenas MORE (D-N.Y.) argued that “our efforts to pass another emergency relief bill through the Senate have been stalled until now for one reason: The Republican leader has refused to compromise.”