Joe Biden tells Republicans he is willing to make $1.9tn COVID relief package ‘cheaper’ but boasts of how popular it is with their base and says it will create seven million jobs this year if passed
President Joe Biden used his speech at the Pfizer facility in Michigan Friday to put some heat on Congressional Republicans who don’t want to spend $1.9 trillion on COVID-19 relief.
‘I’m grateful that the Senate and the House are moving quickly,’ Biden said. ‘And I’m prepared to hear their ideas on how to make the package better and make it cheaper. I’m open to that.’
Biden touted that the plan could create 7 million jobs this year, and then asked GOP lawmakers what they would cut from the ambitious package that they think is ‘too big.’
President Joe Biden used his speech at the Pfizer manufacturing plant Friday in Michigan to pressure Republican lawmakers to support his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan
‘Let me ask them, what would they have me cut? What would they have me leave out?’ Biden demanded. ‘Should we not invest $20 billion to vaccinate the nation? Should we not invest $290 million to extend unemployment insurance for the 11 million Americans who are unemployed so they can get by?’
‘Should we not invest $50 billion to help small businesses stay open when tens of thousands have had to close permanently?’ he asked.
What about schools, Biden pondered, pointing out that the plan calls for $130 million to go toward schools opening safely.
‘Right now 24 million adults, 11 million children don’t have enough food to eat,’ the president also pointed out.
‘Unless you think I’m exaggerating, think of those scenes you’ve seen on the television, with cars lined up that seemed like miles to wait to have someone put a box of food in their trunk,’ Biden said. ‘People who never ever ever ever ever thought they would need help.’
He said if his American rescue plan isn’t passed, 40 millin Americans were in danger of losing their SNAP benefits.
‘Can we not invest $3 billion to help families from going hungry?’ the president mused.
Biden also stated the stat that one in five Americans are behind in their rent and one in 10 are behind on mortgages.
‘This is the United States of America, for God sake. We invest in people. Who are in need,’ he said. ‘Can we not invest $35 billion to help people keep a roof over their heads?’
‘I could go on,’ Biden said after going on for quite a bit. ‘But you get the point.’
Biden and Congressional Democrats are poised to use reconciliation to get the COVID-19 package through the Senate, which would allow a simple majority vote instead of the 60 to break a filibuster.
But still, Biden has actively been seeking Republican support.
‘My hope is that the Republicans in Congress listen to their constituents,’ he said at the Pfizer plant Friday.
‘According to the polls, there is overwhelming bipartisan support. The vast majority of the American people, more than 70 per cent of the American people, with all the polls ya’ll conduct, including a majority of Republicans want us to act and act big and quickly and support the plan,’ he said.