Washington (AP) – In view of the ongoing Corona crisis, US President-elect Joe Biden has called on Congress to agree on a different aid package.
It must be robust and meet the urgent needs of the people, Biden said in his hometown of Wilmington, where he presented his economic and financial team. Finance Minister Candidate Janet Yellen warned that doing nothing would lead to a “self-perpetuating downturn”. She described the magnitude of the economic impact of the corona pandemic in the US as an “American tragedy”.
The coronavirus continues to spread uncontrollably in the US, which is also making it difficult for the economy to recover. At the same time, Democrats and Republicans have been unable to agree on another bailout package for months. Biden has made the fight against the corona pandemic his priority – but there’s not much he can do before the planned January 20 inauguration.
Biden made it clear that an aid package during the lame duck session – between the elections in early November and the start of the new term in January – would at best be only the beginning. His transition team is already working on proposals for the new Congress to deal with the numerous crises facing the country. Millions of Americans who have lost their jobs need “immediate help,” Biden said. This also includes affordable health insurance that millions of people lost along with their jobs. His team will restart the economy and every American will benefit from the hoped-for recovery, Biden said. “Our message to everyone who is currently in trouble is this: Help is on the way.”
Yellen, who was head of the US Federal Reserve until 2018 and will be the first woman to head the Treasury Department, complained that the pandemic and its economic impact had disproportionately hit the weakest in society. “Lost lives. Lost jobs. Small businesses struggling to survive or to close forever. So many people struggle to put food on the table and pay bills and rent. It’s an American tragedy. “
In the dispute over another aid package, the Democrats recently foresaw aid of more than two trillion dollars. The Republicans are against such a large stimulus package and are calling for a package worth hundreds of billions of dollars. The Democrats control the US House of Representatives, the Republicans control the current Senate. This makes an agreement difficult.
The leading Democrats in the US Congress have made a new proposal to their Republican counterparts. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, also resumed talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday. Leading Republican in the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, made it clear that he was working on a proposal that incumbent US President Donald Trump would also approve. There is no time for games or long negotiations, McConnell said. “The question is: do we want results?”
A group of Democratic and Republican congressmen had previously proposed a $ 900 billion aid package to restart stalled negotiations between the parties and the White House. The proposal provides funding to support small businesses and an extension of higher unemployment benefits and assistance to local governments.
More than 13.6 million infections have been discovered in the United States since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. About 270,000 people died of infection with the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen. Due to the large number of new infections per day and the increase in hospital births, several states have tightened the corona requirements.