Home News Biden calls on US Congress to move emergency COVID-19 assist

Biden calls on US Congress to move emergency COVID-19 assist

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United States President-elect Joe Biden is pushing for Congress to enact billions of {dollars} in emergency COVID-19 help earlier than the tip of the 12 months, as new infections are surging throughout the nation.

Saying there may be “plenty of work to do”, Biden met in-person on Friday with Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic chief Chuck Schumer for the primary time since profitable the presidential election, in line with a media pool report.

The incoming Democratic president hosted the highest Democrats in Congress at his makeshift transition headquarters at a theatre in downtown Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden transition aide Jen Psaki mentioned the Democrats are “in lockstep settlement that there must be emergency help and assist throughout the lame-duck session to assist households, to assist small companies”.

“There’s no extra room for delay and we have to transfer ahead as shortly as attainable,” Psaki mentioned.

However prospects for brand spanking new virus assist this 12 months stay unsure, regardless of surging numbers of latest instances and hospitalisations.

The US has now reported greater than 11.8 million instances and greater than 253,000 deaths because the pandemic started, in line with Johns Hopkins College.

For the primary time because the election, Biden met Home Speaker Pelosi Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer at his makeshift headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware [Alex Brandon/ AP Photo]

Pelosi mentioned talks with Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell and Republican leaders on November 19 didn’t produce any consensus on a brand new virus assist package deal. “That didn’t occur, however hopefully it’ll,” she mentioned.

McConnell proposed that Congress shift $455bn of unspent small enterprise lending funds in direction of a brand new COVID-19 assist package deal. His provide got here after a gathering with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White Home Chief of Workers Mark Meadows.

“Congress ought to repurpose this cash towards the sorts of pressing, necessary, and focused aid measures that Republicans have been attempting to move for months,” McConnell mentioned in a press release.

Lame-duck session

Biden, Pelosi and Schumer are pushing for a pandemic aid invoice earlier than Congress adjourns for the 12 months, a interval often called a lame-duck session.

The president-elect has promised to work carefully with Republicans to execute his governing agenda, however to this point, he has targeted his congressional outreach on high Democratic allies.

The assembly comes two days after Democrats nominated Pelosi to be Speaker of the Home, the highest management place within the US Home of Representatives.

President Donald Trump continues to dam a easy transition of energy to the subsequent president, refusing to permit his administration to cooperate with Biden’s transition workforce.

Particularly, the Trump administration is denying Biden entry to detailed briefings on nationwide safety and pandemic planning that leaders in each events say are necessary for making ready Biden to manipulate instantly after his January 20 inauguration.

Making an attempt to bypass the Trump administration altogether, Biden met virtually with a gaggle of main Republican and Democratic governors on November 19.

“Sadly, my administration hasn’t been in a position to get the whole lot we want,” Biden instructed the Nationwide Governors Affiliation’s management workforce as he promised to rise above politics in a unified entrance in opposition to the virus.

Trump sowing doubt

Retiring Republican Senator Lamar Alexander mentioned that the Trump administration ought to present Biden’s workforce with all supplies, assets and conferences crucial for a easy transition.

“If there may be any likelihood in any way that Joe Biden would be the subsequent president, and it seems to be like he has an excellent likelihood, the Trump Administration ought to present the Biden workforce with all transition supplies, assets, and conferences crucial to make sure a easy transition in order that each side are prepared on day one,” Alexander mentioned in a press release posted on Twitter.

Trump, in the meantime, is intensifying his brazen makes an attempt to sow doubt on the election outcomes.

President Donald Trump gave a press release on prescription drug costs within the briefing room of the White Home however made no touch upon the election and didn’t take questions from reporters [Susan Walsh/AP Photo]

The outgoing president’s unprecedented marketing campaign to unfold misinformation now consists of pressuring Michigan officers to dam the certification of their state’s election outcomes.

Biden received Michigan by greater than 150,000 votes, a margin 15 instances bigger than Trump’s when he received the state 4 years in the past.

Election legislation specialists see Trump’s push because the final, dying gasps of his marketing campaign and mentioned Biden is definite to stroll into the Oval Workplace come January. However there may be nice concern that Trump’s effort is doing actual injury to public religion within the integrity of US elections.

Trump, in the meantime, will take part in a digital G20 summit this weekend, a senior administration official mentioned on Friday.