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Biden Calls for US Stimulus After Meeting With Business Leaders

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Key Points

  • President-elect Joe Biden on Monday called for more stimulus spending to help the United States recover from the coronavirus pandemic after laying out his plans for the world’s largest economy in a meeting with corporate and business leaders.
  • Biden, a Democrat who triumphed over Republican President Donald Trump in elections earlier this month, called for Congress to back a $2.2 trillion measure approved by the Democrat-led House of Representatives.
  • But Republicans in the Senate have said they won’t agree to a measure anywhere near that large, preferring to pass smaller bills targeted at specific needs, which Democratic leaders have rejected.
  • Visit The Financial Today’s homepage for more stories.

WILMINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden on Monday called for more stimulus spending to help the United States recover from the coronavirus pandemic after laying out his plans for the world’s largest economy in a meeting with corporate and business leaders.

The type of massive stimulus spending only Washington lawmakers can approve is regarded as key in getting the US back on its feet after the mass layoffs and sharp downturn in growth caused by COVID-19, but Republicans and Democrats have been unable to agree on a new measure. 

Biden, a Democrat who triumphed over Republican President Donald Trump in elections earlier this month, called for Congress to back a $2.2 trillion measure approved by the Democrat-led House of Representatives.

“It has all the money and capacity to take care of each of those things. Tomorrow. Now,” Biden said in a speech in his hometown Wilmington, Delaware.

But Republicans in the Senate have said they won’t agree to a measure anywhere near that large, preferring to pass smaller bills targeted at specific needs, which Democratic leaders have rejected.

Two elections in Georgia set for January will decide if Democrats can take control of the chamber, but Biden called for Republicans to overcome their opposition to a spending package in the weeks before the new Congress is seated.

“There ought to be at least a dozen of them have the courage to stand up and save lives and jobs now. We should be doing it now,” he said.

Unprecedented Transition

Complicating Biden’s election victory is Trump’s refusal to concede, which is unprecedented in modern US history. 

The president has launched a flurry of long-shot lawsuits against the election results in key states and prevented his officials from working with Biden’s transition team.

A former vice president, Biden has found recognition of his victory elsewhere, meeting on Monday with heads of major American companies like General Motors’s Mary Barra and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, as well as Richard Trumka, president of the AFP-CIO trade union federation.

Biden said he outlined his economic program, which includes raising the national minimum wage to $15 per hour, investing huge sums into making the US competitive on emerging technologies, and making sure corporations pay their taxes.

“We’re going to have a fair tax structure that makes sure the wealthiest among us and corporations pay their fair share,” Biden said.

“To secure our position as a global leader in research and development, we’re going to invest $300 billion to the newest competitive industries in technology, creating three million good-paying jobs.”

The president-elect spoke as the United States faces an increasingly grim outlook for the coming winter months as COVID-19 infections hit levels unseen since the pandemic took off in March.

“We’re going into a very dark winter,” Biden said, adding that he agreed with union and corporate leaders that the world’s largest coronavirus outbreak could be stemmed by “rallying the country behind a national strategy with robust public health measures, like mandatory masking.”

Story by Roberto Schmidt with Chris Stein; Image by Gage Skidmore

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