Biden calls for Stimulus Ahead of ‘Dark Winter’ for the country

Washington – President-Elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Monday warned of a “very deep winter” and called on Congress to quickly pass a large economic stimulus package struggling to help workers, businesses and state and local governments. Coronavirus epidemic.

Mr. Biden made his first major policy speech since he won the election after attending a virtual meeting with business and union leaders, including chief executives of General Motors, Microsoft, Target and Gap, and heads of United Auto Workers . The group, meeting on Zoom, discussed how to safely reopen the US economy when virus cases grow across the nation, signaling a renewed lockdown.

The president-elect’s decision to highlight their meeting with labor groups and businesses underscores the great challenge facing his administration, which has been characterized by an increase in coronovirus infections and deaths, a staggering economic recovery and public victimization of restrictions in everyday life. Have to contend with.

Many businesses continue to struggle with reduced activity and are eager to bring workers – and customers – back, while unions say corporations have not put workers at risk.

The participants discussed, which was closed to journalists, focused too much on how to keep businesses and workplace safety, including union leaders through the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to enhance worker safety. Push is included.

“The majority of the discussion with GM was on the Kovid protocol and with a discussion on the importance of keeping manufacturing current,” said a GM official. “We are very involved in working with the UAW to keep the workforce safe and keep the plants running.” has an interest in.”

AutoRockers Union President Rory Gamble said in an interview that he urged Mr Biden to ensure OSHA issued “strong enforceable standards” to keep workers safe during the epidemic. Under the Trump administration, OSHA has declined to implement specific coronavirus-related regulations, rather than recommendations, and largely avoided inspection facilities outside of some high-risk industries such as health care and emergency response.

Demanding unity among the group, Mr. Biden said, “We all agreed that we wanted to put the economy back on track, we needed to get our workers back to work with the virus under control.” But the United States “is going through a lot of winter,” he said. “Things are getting very difficult before they get easier.”

To help businesses and workers make it through, Mr. Biden said, Congress needed to quickly pass another round of stimulus, but he gave no indication of such a policy agreement, which was economic in Washington Can help break a partisan stalemate in the new era. Instead he confirmed his support for a $ 3.4 trillion plan that was approved by House Democrats in May and was rejected by Senate Republicans for months.

Mr. Biden said he expected a dozen or more Republican senators to join Democrats in passing the type of package approved in the spring. That aid included a $ 1,200 check to low-to-middle-income Americans, new loans to hard-hit small businesses, state and local government assistance, and expansion of federal testing and tracing programs.

As Mr. Biden warned of the economic darkness, drug maker Morden announced that financial markets had come to a halt on Monday after his coronovirus vaccine was 94.5 percent effective, which is expected to lead to the deployment of highly effective vaccine epidemics and Its economic losses may end.

The disconnect highlights threats to the economy in the coming months. Increasing optimism for a vaccine can lead to complacency among lawmakers when it comes to supporting recovery, which is already losing steam and may be further hindered as important programs expire at the end is. It can also encourage individuals to disregard the warnings of health officials against activities that risk contracting the virus before applying a vaccine.

States and cities have already started imposing new restrictions on economic activity in an effort to reduce the spread. Chicago announced a new “stay at home” order on Monday and advised residents to avoid traveling, keep guests from their homes and cancel Thanksgiving ceremonies. Gov. Gavin Newsome of California said on Monday that he was pulling an “emergency brake” to block the state’s plan to reopen.

A variety of indicators suggest that the deep recovery of the epidemic recession is nowhere near complete and that in many ways, the economy is stalling or lagging behind. There are now ten million fewer Americans working than in February. Supplementary benefits for the unemployed expired months earlier, and long-term funded benefits for the unemployed are set to prohibit congressional action at the end of the year.

Credit card data and other indicators suggest consumers began to roll back spending this month, as virus growth, hospitalization, and death rates have increased across the country.

Mr. Trump has refused to accept the results of this month’s presidential election, when he was defeated by Mr. Biden. But in the weeks following the vote, he has done little to provide additional incentives for recovery or to reduce the toll that the new wave of transition is sitting accurately on the economy.

The widespread distribution of a vaccine that would allow Americans to resume anything close to normal levels of travel, eating out and other types of spending on services crushed by the epidemic is the most months away. Economists continue to call for a new and urgent round of assistance from Congress to help people and businesses weather tough times before the rebound is completed.

There is very little chance that lawmakers will use the lame-duck session after the election to approve the $ 3.4 billion bill passed on Monday. Majority Leader Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has called for a “highly targeted” bill, and his Republican caucus has backed a package that would cost about $ 500 billion.

Republicans suggested that Mr. Biden’s comments did little to excuse him. “I don’t think it’s useful,” said Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, except for the scope of the relief package that Mr. Biden “has a lot to think about right now”. A deal, Mr. Blunt said, is “less likely and more likely that more deviation scenes are out there.”

Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said she did not believe it was “a fair question” for the $ 3 trillion package.

Business leaders in Washington have pressed parties to a compromise. “There is no benefit for Democrats or Republicans in waiting until the new year,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer of the US Chamber of Commerce.

Among business and labor leaders, Mr. Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris were GM CEO Mary T. Spoke with Barra; Gap chief executive Sonia Singal; Satya Nadella, Chief Executive of Microsoft; Brian Cornell, President and Chief Executive of Target; Richard Trumka, president of AFL-CIO; Mary Kay Henry, chairperson of the Service Employees International Union; And Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Ms Harris said the group had an important conversation about the impact that this epidemic has had on workers, especially essential workers, front-line workers, who put their own health and the health of their families at risk And many who have given their lives to keep us safe and keep our economy running. “

Mr. Trumka told Mr. Biden that the economy needed personal protective equipment and more investment and funds for retrofit businesses and schools so that they could have better ventilation and meet social distinction guidelines. He also called for more robust testing and spending on contact tracing to prevent the virus.

Mr. Saunders urged Mr. Biden to provide relief for states and cities, saying that when public service workers are laid off, local businesses suffer.

Mr. Cornell told Mr. Biden about the role the retail industry plays for American consumers and said he hoped the government would “provide consistent guidance about safety, regulations, and the future rollout of a coronovirus vaccine.”

Target noted that it kept its stores and supply chains operational during the epidemic – and this was clear from politics.

Reporting contribution Noam Sheheber, Neil E. Baudet was performed by Gillian Freedman and Emily Cochran.

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