Biden Calls on Congress to Pass Democrats’ Virus Stimulus Bill

Date: 2020-11-16 22:22:10

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President-Elect Joe Biden said lawmakers should immediately pass a coronavirus stimulus bill like the $2.2 trillion measure passed by the Democratic-led House before the election.

“Right now Congress should come together and pass a Covid relief package like the Heroes Act,” Biden said Monday in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Democratic proposal stands no chance in the GOP-led Senate, and there are no active negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Republicans favor a more targeted measure worth $500 billion.

If Congress doesn’t act by the end of the year, it will be left to Biden to help shore up the U.S. economy as more states are seeing record coronavirus cases.

President-elect Joe Biden said the Trump administration’s refusal to fully engage in normal transition activities has been “embarrassing” for the country, but that he continues to reach out to Republicans before his January inauguration.

“I find this more embarrassing for the country than debilitating for my ability to get started,” Biden said Monday at an event in Wilmington, Delaware.

And he said the delay could be deadly as it relates to the coronavirus pandemic.

“More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” he said. He noted that recent positive news about vaccine effectiveness needs to be paired with the “huge undertaking” of getting a vaccine distributed. “If we have to wait until January 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind,” he said.

Biden said that he has been contacting Republicans and indicated that many people have been reluctant to work with him because of President Donald Trump’s efforts to cast doubt over the election and refusal to accept its results.

“I will work with you,” Biden said, referring to members of the Republican Party. “I understand a lot of your reluctance because of the way the president operates. I’ve been in contact with and I will be in contact with more of them as we move along. And if it has to wait until January 20 to actually become operational, that’s a shame but maybe that’s the only way to get it done.”

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