President Biden said Friday that Republicans need to either get on board with a robust stimulus package or expect his $1.9 trillion economic package proposal to pass without their support, NewYork Times reported. His statement follows lackluster January jobs figures, which indicated that the economy needed urgent help as also Democratic support for his proposal.
He said he believed the American people were looking right now to their government for help and to not a letdown. He said he was therefore going to act and going to act fast.
Biden Warns Republicans Over His $1.9 Trillion Package
His remarks came only hours following the stimulus package getting endorsed along party lines in the face of unified Republican opposition. The House passed the budget resolution 219 to 209 after Vice President Kamala Harris cast her first tiebreaking vote for approval of the budget blueprint, 51 to 50.
House committee heads and Democratic leaders met with the President on Friday morning at the White House to discuss legislative strategy, and later Nancy Pelosi said her goal was to see the bill approved and moved to the Senate within two weeks. Speaking to reporters, Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the majority whip, said the package “absolutely” had enough Democratic votes to pass the House.
With the strong support behind him, Mr. Biden told the Republicans in clear terms that either they suggest changes to the plan to gain the support of both parties or be prepared for being bypassed for approval of a package popular with voters.
The president referred to the economic report released Friday morning with job additions in January at only 49,000. Of these, the private sector added only 6,000. With the labor market 10 million jobs below its pre-pandemic levels, many people had been out of work for over six months.
Mr. Biden said he had to choose between getting help right away to Americans who were hurting to badly and getting bogged down in a lengthy negotiation or compromising on a bill. He added he would help the American people who were hurting now. He added what Republicans had proposed was either to do nothing or not enough.
The weak economic gains of January did bring an agreement among Democrats and Republicans over the faltering economic recovery, but they were not in agreement on whether the president’s push for a $1.9 trillion jolt the right approach was to address the issue. Democratic leaders called for aggressive measures while Republicans warned of escalating budget deficits. They also accused Biden of giving up on bipartisanship.
According to commentators, Republicans and their allies had not yet come together around a consistent critique of Mr. Biden’s proposals. Some had pointed out that given that the benefits of the $900 billion aid package approved by Congress in December were apparent, the economy could do without another big dose of stimulus.
Like Representative Michael C. Burgess, Republican of Texas, others pointed to the nation’s growing debt. He argued that Mr. Biden’s plan would add “nearly $2 trillion to the deficit” and went on to list out a series of complaints about the package, which included money going to states that he accused of mismanaging their budgets.
However, the main argument of Republicans was that with the effort so far failing to attract Republican support, Mr. Biden was going against his own campaign call for bringing people together across party lines.
Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, said on Friday that after all the talk of unity, President Biden and congressional Democrats took the partisan route.
Rejecting the criticism outright, Mr. Biden and his aides answered that unity referred to bringing together the voting public and not members of Congress.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, cited poll numbers showing bipartisan support of American voters for the plan. Adding the president ran on unifying the country and putting forward ideas that would help address America’s crises.