WILMINGTON, Del. – President elect
said on Friday he would “lay the groundwork” for billions of dollars in Covid-19 relief next week, and that he would push for an increase in the federal minimum wage to at least $ 15 an hour.
Mr Biden spoke hours after the Labor Department reported that the lost 140,000 jobs in December amid the resurgence of the pandemic, ending seven months of job growth.
“The bottom line is jobs report shows we need to bring more immediate relief to working families and businesses – now,” Biden said, before officially announcing additional members of his economic team. .
Mr Biden said his proposal would be “in the billions of dollars”.
“If we don’t act now, things are going to get a lot worse and harder to get out of the hole later,” he said.
He called on Congress to pass a measure to increase the minimum wage.
Mr Biden’s team developed the new Covid-19 relief plan as an extension of the $ 908 billion plan approved by Congress last month. The new president reiterated his call for additional checks to many American families, saying the direct payments of $ 600 already approved were not enough.
“We need more direct help for families and small businesses, including getting the job done of giving people direct payment of $ 2,000 – $ 600, just not enough,” did he declare.
Mr Biden spoke at an event where he unveiled the new members of its economic team, including Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, her choice for the post of Commerce Secretary, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, her choice to head the Department of Labor.
Mr. Biden also pointed to historically low interest rates and the Federal Reserve’s limited ability to support credit to small businesses and municipalities as reasons to tolerate higher deficit spending to support economic growth.
“The overwhelming consensus among leading economists – left, right and center – is that to prevent the economy from collapsing this year and getting worse, you should invest significant sums now to grow the economy. ‘economy”. he said.
He said he was considering appointing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, his progressive rival in the Democratic presidential primaries, to lead the Labor Department, but decided not to do so due to the slim Democratic majority. in the Senate.
Mr Biden addressed reporters as Democrats in Congress pushes for the impeachment of President Trump after encouraging a crowd of supporters to come to the Capitol on Wednesday. A group broke into the building and forced Congress to delay its count of the electoral results of the States.
When asked if he supports efforts to introduce articles of impeachment against Mr Trump in the House, Mr Biden said he would leave it to members of Congress. “What Congress decides to do is for them to decide,” he said.
Mr Biden also said that Mr Trump was unfit for the post of president and that it was a good thing that he did not plan to attend his inauguration on January 20. He said he would welcome Vice President Mike Pence to the event.
Mr Trump said on Twitter hours before Mr Biden’s appearance that he would not be in attendance, breaking the precedent with past outgoing presidents.
The president-elect called on Republican senators who led the effort to oppose certification of his electoral victory.
“I think they should be beaten flat the next time they run,” Biden said of the senses. Ted Cruz from Texas and Josh Hawley from Missouri, referring to a Nazi propagandist and adding that senators were “part of the big lie. “
A spokesperson for Mr Cruz said: “This kind of rhetoric is disgusting, dishonest and bad for the country.” In a statement, Mr Hawley called the comments “outrageous, immature and untimely behavior”.
Mr. Biden also praised Republicans like Utah Senator Mitt Romney and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for resisting the president’s efforts to overturn the election result. Mr Biden said Wednesday’s riot facilitated his work to unify the country in some ways as some Republicans distanced themselves from Mr Trump.
“I think you’re going to see them go through this idea of what constitutes the Republican Party,” he said.
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