Biden Says He Sees ‘Enormous Pain in This Country’

Date: 2021-02-05 18:37:22

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President Joe Biden said Friday it’s clear the U.S. economy “is still in trouble.” And he pledged to “act fast,” even without Republican support, to get Americans the stimulus he believes they need.

Biden said there are “a lot of folks reaching the breaking point,” and if he has to “choose between getting help right now to Americans” and continuing negotiations to reach a bipartisan compromise, it’s “an easy choice.” “I’m going to help Americans,” he said.

Biden’s remarks came after meeting with leading House Democrats who aim to put his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on a fast track to becoming law, drawing on new signs of strain in the economy to push for its approval.

The Senate early Friday approved a measure that would let Democrats muscle the relief plan through the chamber without Republican support.

Vice President Kamala Harris was in the chair to cast the tie-breaking vote, her first.

The push for stimulus comes amid new signs of a weakening U.S. economy.

Employers added just 49,000 jobs in January, after cutting 227,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said Friday. Restaurants, retailers, manufacturers and even the health care sector shed workers last month, meaning that private employers accounted for a meager gain of 6,000 jobs last month.

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