Joe Biden Slams Republicans For ‘All Of A Sudden’ Showing Fiscal Restraint
On Friday, President Joe Biden defended his administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan and stressed that now is not the time for fiscal conservatism.
Per CNBC, speaking from the White House, Biden said that he tried to work with Republicans but gave up on the idea because they insisted on a smaller package.
“I’d like to be doing it with the support of Republicans. I’ve met with Republicans… but they’re just not willing to go as far as I think we have to go,” Biden said, arguing that Republicans’ proposals would further slow down the struggling economy.
He noted that GOP lawmakers had no concerns about the national debt when they were in power and when his predecessor Donald Trump was in the White House, but now claim that deficits are an issue.
“All of a sudden, many of them have rediscovered fiscal restraint and concern for the deficits. But don’t kid yourself, this approach will come with a cost.”
Biden stressed that delivering economic relief to the American people amid the coronavirus pandemic is his administration’s top priority.
“If I have to choose between getting help right now to Americans who are hurting so badly, and being bogged down in a monthly negotiation or compromising on a bill that’s up to the crisis, it’s an easy choice,” he said.
In arguing against deficit spending, some GOP lawmakers cited a recent report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which established that the U.S. economy would return to its pre-pandemic levels within six months.
Other Republicans tried to negotiate with the administration. Notably, a group led by Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine pushed for a $618 billion proposal, but that, too, was deemed inadequate.
In response to Republicans’ unwillingness to compromise, key Senate Democrats moved to pass Biden’s legislation through budget reconciliation. All Democratic senators seem to be on board with the idea.
As reported by CNN, Biden’s ambitious plan calls for more robust stimulus payments, an increase in unemployment aid, help for the poor, child tax credits and subsidies for health insurance premiums. The proposal would also provide additional support for state governments and businesses, increase funding for vaccinations and testing and raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Some believe that Biden has already delivered on key promises. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Al Jazeera English‘s senior White House Producer Chris Sheridan recently said that the president has made “major nods” to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.