Politics Biden not budging on $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief, presses Congress to act fast after lackluster jobs report
Members of the 116th Congress rail against social-media companies but posted to Twitter and Facebook a record 2.2 million times
The Pew Research Center found lawmakers drew record-breaking followings on the platforms in 2019 and 2020 amid arguments over social-media moderation.The numbers for the 116th Congress eclipsed data collected during the previous two sessions. The research center began collecting data on members' social media usage during the 114th Congress, starting in 2015. The most recent Congress produced about 738,000 more posts on Twitter and Facebook than the 114th Congress, according to Pew.
WASHINGTON – Despite Republican resistance, Presidentis refusing to budge from his demand for $1.9 trillion in relief, citing a lackluster on Friday as evidence that the economy is still sputtering from the coronavirus pandemic.
In remarks from the White House, Biden said the economy is still in trouble, and he called on Congress to quickly to pass his proposal with or without GOP support.
"We're still in the teeth of this pandemic," he said.
Biden said that while he would prefer to work with Republicans, "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 ... that's an easy choice," he said. "I'm going to help the American people who are hurting."
Undoing Trump's policies and other things Biden did his first week as president
President Joe Biden has signed over 30 executive orders ranging from reversing Trump-era policy to adjusting the nation’s response to the pandemic.The orders ranged in topic from dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to beginning the process for what he hopes will be immigration reform. Many take direct aim at the decisions of former President Donald Trump.
Biden’s remarks came just hours after the Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added a modest 49,000in January even as COVID-related business restrictions eased somewhat.
The nation’s unemployment rate, which is calculated from a different survey, fell from 6.7% to 6.3%, mostly because of a big drop in the number of Americans working or looking for jobs, the Labor Department said.
Also disappointing: Total job gains for November and December were revised down by 159,000.
Mind the gap:
Daily routine and a script are back in the Biden White House but how long can it last?
It's unclear how long President Joe Biden can stick to his routine amid rising partisan conflicts in Congress and a slew of monumental challenges. Lawmakers are battling over Trump’s impeachment trial, Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill and calls from Democrats to boot far-right Republican members from Congress. "It will require constant work. Many forces of commerce and human nature are arrayed against him, and countless obstacles stand in his path," journalist John Dickerson, among those who welcomes "boring" again in the White House, wrote in The Atlantic.
Shortly after the jobs report was released, Biden and House Democratic leaders huddled at the White House as the president continued to press his case for a $1.9 trillion COVID-relief package.
Biden said the jobs report shows that it will take years for the economy to fully recovery.
"This is not just about numbers," he said. "This is about people’s lives."
He added: "Real people are hurting, and we can fix it."
Biden and congressional Democrats are marching forward with their plans to approve the president’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
Early Friday, the Senate voted 51-50 along party lines to approve a budget resolution paving the way for passage of the package by the end of the month or mid-March. Vice President Kamala Harris, in her role as president of the Senate, cast the tie-breaking vote.
Biden is pushing for $1.9 trillion in COVID relief despite concerns from some Republicans about the size and scope of the package.
Biden wants millions of clean-energy related jobs. Can it happen?
Last week, President Joe Biden reaffirmed his commitment to addressing climate change by creating green energy jobs, building out a "modern and sustainable infrastructure" toward his continued goal of reaching a carbon-free energy sector in the US by 2035. © Provided by CNN In remarks last week before signing several executive orders focused on his climate agenda, Biden tied his energy policy directly to his plans to rebuild the US economy, citing the need for new, green infrastructure that would generate millions of jobs.
The White House argues that $1.9 trillion is needed to fully address the twin health and economic crises caused by the global pandemic.
Biden’s American Rescue Plan calls for another round of direct $1,400 payments to millions of Americans, $130 billion to reopen the nation’s schools, $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, $160 billion for vaccine testing and equipment, $50 billion for grants and loans to businesses and raising the federal minimum wage to $15 a hour.
are pushing a smaller $618 billion proposal that would scrap the aid to state and local governments, reduce the stimulus checks from $1,400 to $1,000 and remove Biden’s proposal to boost the minimum wage.
In his remarks, Biden said he has no intention of scaling back the size of the stimulus checks.
"They're going to be $1,400. Period," he said. "That's what the American people were promised."
Americans need the money, he said, "and they're going to get it."
Democratic strategist Josh Schwerin said Friday’s lackluster jobs report starkly illustrates the need for Congress to move quickly on Biden’s proposal.
Why 10 Republican senators are negotiating with Biden on Covid-19 relief
Biden and a group of Senate Republicans want two very different Covid-19 relief bills.Biden’s White House has repeatedly said that getting a bipartisan deal done is a top priority. But prolonged negotiations with Republicans, and trying to get to an acceptable middle ground, could complicate both the speed and the boldness of Biden’s first big legislative proposal.
"Today's jobs report was a harsh reminder that we can't just sit back and hope for the best with the economy,” Schwerin said. “We need to go big, and we need to do it fast. Millions of people are out of work or struggling to get by with bills that keep coming even when the paychecks stop.”
“Republicans like to look at the stock market and their donors' bank accounts to say the recovery is strong, but those are terrible metrics for how most Americans are really doing,” Schwerin said. “President Biden has a mandate to act – the economic numbers support it and the American people support it. Hopefully Republicans will help, but Democrats simply can't wait."
Contributing: Paul Davidson, Ledyard King
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
On The Money: Biden signals he'll move forward on COVID-19 relief without GOP | Economy adds 49K jobs in January, unemployment falls to 6.3 percent | Minimum wage push sparks Democratic divisions .
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