Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden released his own “emergency action plan” he “would do immediately” if he were president to save the economy that has been ravaged due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposal outlines “three key steps” the former vice president would do to execute the $2 trillion relief package passed unanimously by the Senate Wednesday evening aimed at jolting the economy
“The United States Senate just reached a deal on a major economic relief package. It’s a very important step and includes support for families and small businesses, the very things I’ve been calling for for a while now,” Biden said in a video. “And when it passes, the key will be its execution.”
The Senate passed a major economic relief package late last night. It's a very important step, but the key is how it will be executed. If I were President, here's how I'd make it work: pic.twitter.com/RmcOh0rRPL— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 26, 2020
One component of Biden’s plan would use “all available authorities,” including the Defense Production Act, to curb the spread of the coronavirus. He stated he would “end this epidemic and get our economy back on track through bold action — not by picking an arbitrary date on the calendar and asserting it’s over.”
President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act last week and used it as a leverage tool with private companies to voluntarily help manufacture more medical equipment.
Biden also said he would increase testing capacity as well as ensure the testing is free, and make critical equipment like ventilators and personal protective equipment more available to sites of new outbreaks. Biden said it is “the quickest, surest way to getting our economy back on track.”
Testing for the coronavirus is already free for all Americans as the first economic relief plan, backed by President Trump includes free testing for everyone who needs it, two weeks of paid sick leave to allow people with the virus to stay home from work to avoid infecting co-workers among other supplemental needs for the health-care system.
On the economic front, Biden said he would “expedite” aid to businesses that vow to keep their workers employed, cut “through the red tape” to deliver of unemployment benefits without delay, as well as extend them as long as economic conditions call for it, pressure bank CEOs to provide loans to small businesses and “impose strict oversight and enforcement” on large companies seeking taxpayer assistance to make sure it “that will go toward their workers, not toward enriching their CEOs or shareholders.”
Biden added that he would then work with Congress to craft the next phase of legislation, which he said would include issues that were not included such as student loan forgiveness of $10,000, increase Social Security check by $200 a month, cost-free, emergency paid sick leave, and states fiscal relief.
The plan from by Biden comes after the Senate unanimously passed late Wednesday evening the largest economic relief bill in history.The wide-reaching bill includes a $1,200 one-time check for individuals who make up to $75,000 a year or $2,400 for couples earning less than $150,000, $250 billions in unemployment insurance benefits covered for four months, $500 billion in loans for distressed companies and $100 billion for hospitals.
“Joe Biden knows that no economic strategy will work if we don’t stop the virus. In recent days, there’s been talk that we have to choose between public health and our economy. That’s not just a false choice. It’s a dangerous one,” Biden’s campaign said in a statement.
The Trump campaign responded to Biden’s plan, calling it “late to the game, plagiarizing from the Trump Adminisration’s plan while brazenly taking advantage of the crisis to ram through radical left-wing pet projects that have nothing to do with the coronavirus.”
“Biden has demonstrated throughout this crisis that he is wholly unfit to lead America. He routinely lies and spreads misinformation to undermine President Trump’s coronavirus response and play politics with this global pandemic,” Trump campaign spokesman Andrew Clark said in a statement.
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