Biden outlines plan to alleviate economic inequality in US amid coronavirus pandemic – National


US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday laid out his plans to ease economic inequality and stimulate the US economy, but said any structural reform hinges first on containing the coronavirus pandemic.“Once we end the virus and bring economic relief to workers and businesses, then we can start to rebuild better than before,” Biden said during remarks in Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden spoke of his plans to invest in infrastructure, technology and clean energy jobs, and to create jobs in the US manufacturing sector by encouraging companies to make their products in the United States.

US election: Biden responds to Trump’s flashback by acknowledging his victory

US election: Biden responds to Trump’s flashback by acknowledging his victory

Earlier Monday, Biden and Harris held virtual meetings with business and labor leaders _ including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella _ and stated that despite their differences, they were even able to chart to advance areas of common ground. The president-elect also said that unions would have more power under his administration, and he highlighted the contributions unions have made to the middle class.

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Biden, a Democrat, has vowed to spend trillions of dollars to reinvigorate American manufacturing, expand health care coverage, and tackle climate change, among other priorities.

But before he can pursue large-scale reforms, Biden will first need to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, which is rampant across the country and threatens to cause further damage as the US economy rebounds from the initial surge. of cases.

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The unemployment rate fell a percentage point last month to 6.9% and those who still have jobs – many of whom work from home – have increased their spending on cars, electronics and home renovations.

But much of the rebound was fueled by $ 2 trillion in stimulus funding that has largely run its course. And there are signs that the continued increase in confirmed virus cases is making Americans more cautious about travel and shopping. Consumers slashed spending in early November, according to JPMorgan Chase, which tracks spending on 30 million of its debit and credit cards. Spending cuts were larger in some states with severe outbreaks, such as Iowa and North Dakota.

Most economists back another round of stimulus, including loans to small businesses, extended unemployment benefits, and support for states and cities. Democrats in Congress have already backed $ 2 trillion in additional aid. But Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Majority Leader, pointed to the drop in the unemployment rate as evidence that far less stimulus is needed. Senate Republicans have supported just $ 500 billion in new spending.

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Since winning the presidency earlier this month, Biden has not publicly weighed in on his priorities for a COVID-19 stimulus, but he said during the campaign that he was in favor of a broader package like the one proposed by the Democrats. Biden spoke of the need for the stimulus in a joint appeal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer last week.

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US election: Trump’s national security adviser predicts ‘very professional’ transition to Biden administration

US election: Trump’s national security adviser predicts ‘very professional’ transition to Biden administration

One of Biden’s first major economic decisions when he takes office will be whether to push some version of a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. The president-elect has tried to sidestep the issue, focusing most of his public remarks on encouraging Americans to wear masks and adopt social distancing measures.

But members of its coronavirus advisory board were more specific. A member, Michael Osterholm, recently suggested a four to six week nationwide lockdown with financial assistance for Americans whose livelihoods would be affected. He then backtracked and was refuted by two other panelists who said a blanket foreclosure should not be considered.

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Speaking on “CBS This Morning” on Monday, Osterholm was not asked about a possible foreclosure, but he said the nation needed a “standard set of principles.”

“Right now we don’t have a standard set, so you hear all these governors and mayors scrambling to try to find the right answer for us, and that would surely help them all, and that’s what I’m hearing from them, that we have a standardized set of recommendations and protocols, ”he said.


Jaffe reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Christopher Rugaber contributed to this report.

© 2020 The Canadian Press


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