United States President Joe Biden will make his case for the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan to the public during his first official trip outside Washington since being elected in the position. It is clear that Biden is going to pressure Congress to seal and finalize the details of the package so that it can be rolled out already.
Specifically, Biden is expected to fly to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, which comes immediately after the recently concluded second impeachment trial of former US President Donald Trump. The latter was acquitted from the charges against him, especially on his supposed role in the riots that took place in the US Capitol in January.
Now that the proceedings of the trial ended, Biden can now get the attention of the legislators and the public as well. He is aiming to urge them to approve his economic plans, which he had tailored since the start of his campaign. It is designed to deal with economic repercussions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. With this package, substantial government spending is to be expected.
Furthermore, the case that Biden is going to make will highlight his other plans to combat the pandemic. It will include his scheduled visit to a Pfizer vaccine plant this week Thursday. He will also make a virtual speech at the Munich security conference and another at a G7 meeting. In the latter, he is expected to sprinkle international importance to his economic stimulus plan in the United States.
Based on the statement released by the White House, Biden is going to emphasize the “importance of all industrialized countries maintaining economic support for the recovery” and the “need to make investments to strengthen our collective competitiveness and the importance of updating global rules to tackle economic challenges such as those posed by China.”
It is not a secret that Biden and his administration have been struggling to get the Republicans behind his economic package. In the said plan, $1,400 cheques will be given to qualified individuals and provide additional funding to extend unemployment benefits. It will also enhance child tax credits while ensuring financial support to local and state governments.
A lot of Republican lawmakers contended that the amounts of the subsidies that Biden proposes are too excessive. They believe that it will burden the federal debt of the government, further plunging the country into an economic fallout. Meanwhile, the Democrats in Congress are insisting that they are quite willing to pass the bill unilaterally. They will use their lead in numbers in both the Senate and the Congress.
Notably, recent polls suggest that a significant number of the provisions in the economic package–especially the direct cash incentives–have garnered high levels of support among the American voters. Democrats are riding on this momentum to compel some Republicans to sway on their side.
In a survey conducted by a bipartisan polling company, 64% of Americans believe that the economic package is “about right” or “too little.” On the flip side, 36% of them are stating that the cost of the proposed bill is “too much.”
In an interview on ABC last week Sunday, Delaware Senator Chris Coons, a staunch ally of Biden in the Congress, said the following: “I think that phase of accountability [for Trump] moves to the courts now, and we in Congress need to move forward with delivering the expanded unemployment cheques, the stimulus cheques, the reinvestment in our economy that the American people so desperately need and deserve.”
A White House official said at the conclusion of Trump’s impeachment trial somewhat railed the negotiations for the economic stimulus. However, the official insisted that there is already significant progress on its finalization.
Furthermore, Biden did not set a deadline for the stimulus bill to be enacted. But at the same time, the Democrats are insisting that they want it to be rolled out before or within mid-March. This is the time where the extension of the emergency benefits for the unemployed expires. Of course, many US health officials see the pressing need for the approval of the plan since it includes the massive COVID-19 program for the country.
There are several points of contention in the stimulus package of Biden. Republicans are contending if the current administration will push the increase of the minimum wage to $15. In fact, some Democrats even question this matter, such as Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin.