As Covid-19 cases multiply and unemployment grows, Congress is just days away from leaving for the New Year break. In a rush to reach an agreement that could bring relief to Americans while they are still in session, several proposals have been tabled.
According to CNBC, President-elect Joe Biden endorsed the $908 billion bipartisan relief bill currently being negotiated on Capitol Hill, calling it “a good start.”
“I think it should be passed,” Biden said during an interview Thursday on CNN, and added that after he is inaugurated in January he would “have to ask for more help when we get there to get things done.”
This week he had already said on his Instagram account that “Help is on the way”, for struggling Americans.
“My transition team is already working on what I will put forward for the next Congress to address the multiple crises we are facing — especially our economic and COVID crises. We’re going to deliver much-needed relief and build a new American economy that works for everyone,” he said in a post.
In the interview, Biden also expressed cautious optimism about his ability to work with Senate Republicans and said his former Senate colleagues have been more supportive of him behind closed doors than they’ve been in public.
The roughly $ 908 billion bipartisan proposal that Biden has endorsed includes $ 288 billion in small business aid such as Paycheck Protection Program loans, $ 160 billion in state and local government relief, and $ 180 billion to fund a $ 300 per week supplemental unemployment benefit through March.
It would put $ 16 billion into vaccine distribution, testing, and contact tracing, funnel $ 82 billion into education, put $ 45 billion into transportation, and allocate funds for rental assistance, child care, and broadband.
It remains to be seen if Congress will be able to reach an agreement in the week left before the House leaves Capitol Hill.