Elected President Joe Biden’s financial aid package for coronavirus is expected to cost trillions, and on Tuesday, transitional officials briefed Democratic congressmen on his priorities for the massive stimulus bill, two people familiar with the plans told CBS News.
Items in the package, such as Mr. Biden considers to be “critical” includes $ 2,000 stimulus payments to Americans, more money to cities and states to increase their response to COVID-19 and improve vaccine distribution and provide more funding to schools.
Mr. Biden also wants to see a new extension and increase the improved unemployment insurance payments, which were extended last month and are currently expected to last until mid-March.
How will Biden convince Congress to pass this bill?
The White House in Biden is seeking support from both parties for its COVID aid package, which could mean significant changes in legislation to attract more Republican support. This goal was also announced to congressional aides Tuesday.
If Mr. The bite can not reach an agreement with the Senate Republicans, this package can pass during reconciliation, a process sometimes used for spending measures. Under this approach, the bill would require only a simple majority to be passed and would not be blocked by a filibuster. Most Senate bills require 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. This opportunity would be used to pass the framework of the Biden team with only democratic votes. Once Georgia̵
President-elect Biden is expected to outline his proposal for COVID relief on Thursday. A Biden transition official on Wednesday did not respond when asked for comment.
This legislation is likely to be subject to intense lobbying by members of Congress and special interests, which may affect the final price.
Some elements of the legislation, such as $ 2,000 incentive payments to Americans, already have the support of both parties. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida sent a letter Tuesday asking Biden to include the major controls. The president-elect has been calling for $ 2,000 checks for several weeks now and has been fighting for the issue in Georgia ahead of the January 5 Senate election.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a 15-page letter to Biden transitional officials leading the COVID-19 response, calling for more oversight of the federal government’s response to the pandemic. Warren wants to see increases in data collection and reporting of sites with frequent COVID-19 clusters including assisted residences and behavioral health clinics.
The incoming administration has requested input into the legislation from state and local leaders. Biden staff have been in “listening mode” with various governors’ offices to get their assessments of the COVID-19 response from the federal government. “We get a different sense of urgency than the previous administration by tackling this, and they are proactive in cooperating with the states,” a Democratic governor’s official told CBS News.
Appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra with Dr. Vivek Murthy, who has been appointed Surgeon General, and the leader of the COVID Equity Task Force Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, also recently met with a dozen faith leaders who combined the leadership of religious groups with tens of millions of members to discuss fair federal responses in color communities.
Two meeting attendees told CBS News that the group discussed the use of faith-based hospitals and clinics to increase access and confidence to the COVID-19 vaccine, especially in places with “pharmacy deserts.” Specific plans to reach Americans who were skeptical of the vaccine were not described by the Biden team, two faith leaders told CBS News, but both said they were encouraged by the discussion.
A faith leader told CBS News that his network plans to lobby the Biden team to extend tax deductions for children.