Biden urges Congress to pass coronavirus package with state and local government funding

President-elect Joe Biden urged Congress to pass a coronavirus relief package that includes funding to help state and local governments with payrolls for public workers like teachers and first responders.

“There’s a reason why the federal government is able to run a deficit: because the states must, must, balance their budget. And they’re in real trouble,” Biden said in a speech in Delaware after a meeting with business and labor leaders.
He called on the Democratic-led House and Republican-controlled Senate to pass a package similar to legislation the House approved months ago — but that the Senate has refused to take up.
“We can deliver immediate relief, and it need be done quickly,” Biden said, characterizing the economy as “teetering on the edge” headed into a “very dark winter” months before coronavirus vaccines could become widely available.
    And in an implicit rebuke of President Donald Trump, who has frequently opposed financial help for Democratic-led states and cities, Biden said that “we’re all American” and the need for bipartisan collaboration is “a mandate from the American people.”
    “They want us to cooperate,” he said.
    Biden’s remarks Monday followed a virtual meeting he and Harris held with the heads of several of the nation’s leading labor unions and the top executives of Microsoft, General Motors, Gap and Target.
    “I must tell you, it reinforced what I thought from the beginning: We’re ready to come together. And the unity was astounding,” Biden said of the meeting. “It was really encouraging, quite frankly, to get people — business and labor — together agreeing on the way forward.”
    He is set to take office — much like he did as vice president in 2008 — with a battered economy, this time the result of the coronavirus pandemic. Biden campaigned on a push for hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus spending aimed at clean energy, infrastructure and what he called the “caregiving economy.”
      Biden pitched that plan Monday afternoon, calling them the kinds of investments that could strengthen the United States economy and create millions of union jobs. He also said he wants a $ 15-per-hour minimum wage nationwide.
      “The road ahead, it will not be easy. But the President-elect and I are hitting the ground running,” Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said. “We don’t have a moment to waste.”

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