BIDEN PRESSES $1.9-TRILLION COVID AID PLAN WITH MAYORS, GOVS
US President Joe Biden pushed for the first major legislative achievement of his term, turning to a bipartisan group of local officials for help on his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan.
Biden invited a set of mayors and governors to the Oval Office and described what he said was a need to give those officials more help supporting millions of unemployed workers and reopening schools, Steve Holland and Andrea Shalal reported for Reuters.
“We need to help the states economically in terms of unemployment,” Biden said during a small part of the meeting that was open to reporters. “The federal government has a major role to play here.”
The White House summit came as public health officials in the administration readied new guidelines for reopening schools and as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said “the time to go big is now” as she pushed for more stimulus globally during the first meeting of the Group of Seven wealthy economies since the new US administration took office.
The Democratic president’s proposed spending package, coming on top of $4 trillion enacted by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, would have important consequences for a global economy that is slowly and unevenly recovering after last year suffering its worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
More than 400 mayors wrote to leaders in Congress earlier this month to urge them to pass Biden’s relief package, but Republicans are backing a plan with a much smaller price tag.