Biden to unveil trillions in pandemic economic relief spending next week
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said Americans need more economic relief from the coronavirus pandemic now and that he will deliver a plan costing “trillions” of dollars next week.
Data showed the U.S. economy lost jobs for the first time in eight months in December as a resurgent COVID-19 pandemic shuttered restaurants and other businesses.
He said the proposal includes relief for state and local governments grappling with the pandemic, as well as new support for people who lost their jobs or cannot afford rent.
Biden also called for raising the minimum wage to $15, a campaign promise, and for sending out $2,000 in direct cash payments.
Democrats sought those cash payouts in the last relief bill, passed in December, but only were able to get Republicans to agree to $600.
Markets have reacted quickly to expectations that government spending will rise since Democrats won the Georgia elections, with stock indexes rising and the interest investors demand on 10-year U.S.
Treasury bonds climbing to their highest levels since March.
Yet Republicans and even some Democrats may be resistant to greater deficit-fueled spending, with Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, among those who initially greeted the idea skeptically.
Biden’s transition team also said on Friday that they are looking into other economic relief actions they can take unilaterally, including extending a pause on repayments of federal student loans.