WASHINGTON – Elected President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is expected on Thursday to outline proposals for trillions of dollars in government spending to combat the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the economy with an initial focus on major expansions of the nation’s vaccination program and virus testing capabilities.
Mr. Biden will elaborate on his plans, which he and his financial team have been refining for several weeks, in an evening speech in Delaware. The effort will cover the pandemic, the economy, health care, education, climate change and other domestic priorities, Brian Deese, the future director of the National Economic Council, said at the Reuters Next conference on Wednesday. Top Democrats in Congress have said in recent days that they are preparing for efforts to span two bills.
America’s rebound from pandemic recession has been reversed amid a winter surge of the virus and new waves of restrictions on economic activity in cities and states. The Labor Department reported Thursday that 1.15 million Americans filed new unemployment claims in the first full week of the new year, a 25 percent increase from the previous week. An additional 284,000 claims were filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal emergency union program for workers as freelancers who are not normally eligible for unemployment benefits. The nation released 140,000 jobs in December, the department reported last week.
While millions are still struggling, the original stimulus package that Mr. The bid reveals to include money to make $ 2,000 direct payments to individuals and support small businesses and local and state governments, Mr. Deese. Others who were briefed on Mr. Biden’s thinking, he said, would also call for the first legislation to include an extension of supplementary federal unemployment benefits, which are expected to expire in March for many workers and more help for tenants.
Plans for the first package also include a marked increase in spending on vaccination, testing and contact tracking, Deese said, and Mr. Biden will seek enough money to allow most schools to open up in an effort to increase workforce participation.
The Biden transition
“We need to get the schools open,” Mr Deese said, “so that parents and especially women who are disproportionately hurt in this economy can get back to work.”
Transition team officials would not say Wednesday how expensive Mr. The bidder’s proposal would likely be, or whether he would announce a cost estimate on Thursday. Last week, Mr. Biden that he expected his full agenda would cost “trillions” of dollars.
The proposals in the second tranche are likely to be bigger than the first, and Democrats plan to pay for all or some of them by raising taxes on businesses and the rich. The second package is expected to be centered on job creation and infrastructure, including hundreds of billions of dollars in spending on clean energy projects such as charging stations for electric cars along with healthcare and education spending, Mr. Biden’s team and leading congressional Democrats indicated.
The first bill is likely to be deficit-funded in line with the Covid-19 relief bills passed by Congress last year.
Sir. Biden has said he will work to build Republican support for his plans, and he needs 10 Republican votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. But top Democrats in the House and Senate are preparing to quickly turn to a parliamentary process known as budget voting if they can only get a simple majority in the Senate. The Republicans used the procedure to bypass a filibuster and approve Mr. Trump’s signature of tax cuts in 2017.
Democrats on both sides of the Capitol – including Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, who will be the majority leader – have called for Mr. Biden to spend more than he had originally planned in the original relief bill, say people familiar with the talks.
Many Democrats in the House and Senate pressured Mr. Bid on this week to add goods to the first bill, including targeted support for restaurants and temporary extensions of the tax deduction and tax deduction for children, which could cost just over $ 100 billion. . Economists say expanding these credits could greatly reduce child poverty when many low-income parents have lost their jobs and turn to food banks for help.
Congress Democrats may include extending these credits in their legislation, regardless of whether Mr. Biden calls for it. After Congress passed a $ 900 billion bill. Dollars, which did not include the Democrats’ full priority list in December, asked Schumer committee members to draft legislation that would include extending those tax deductions along with the additional direct payments and support to state and local governments.
Democrats are also pushing Mr Biden to include in his proposal provisions for automatic renewal of federal unemployment benefits and other assistance until unemployment falls to a certain level, in case Congress stops approving more rescue bills in the future.