President Joe Biden called on Congress Friday to pass its more than $ 4 trillion economic agenda to help fuel sluggish employment growth.
The president advocated spending on infrastructure, climate policy and the social safety net after the Labor Department said the country created 235,000 jobs in August. The number fell well short of the 720,000 jobs economists had expected.
Biden has captured the poor report of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus and the reluctance of many eligible Americans to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. He said the U.S. could boost its economy by containing the virus and adopting his two economic plans, which he said would help the middle class and make the country more resilient to the kind of extreme weather that powers New Orleans turned off and paralyzed transit in New York City in the past few days.
“Our country needs these investments,” said Biden. “I don’t ask for anything other than a certain fairness that is introduced into the system.”
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Biden stressed that he does not see the investment as a “short-term incentive” as the country emerges from the shadow of the pandemic. He said the proposals were designed to create “long-term prosperity”.
The president’s pressure on his economic agenda comes a day after Senator Joe Manchin, DW.V., complicated his party’s plans to pass it in Congress. Manchin, whose votes the Democrats in the Senate must pass a budget equalization bill worth up to 3.5 trillion US dollars, asked the congressional leaders to “pause” the examination of the measure.
The senator, who helped negotiate the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate, cited inflation and long-term debt as the reasons for the delay. He didn’t rule out voting for a proposal that costs less than $ 3.5 trillion.
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said she will not hold a vote on the infrastructure bill until the Senate passes the Democrats’ spending plan. After the centrists threatened in their caucus to hold up the budget, Pelosi made a non-binding commitment to review the bipartisan bill by September 27.
In a Twitter post Thursday after Manchin announced his stance, Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Said the fates of the two economic plans were linked.
“No infrastructure bill without the $ 3.5 trillion Reconciliation Act,” said the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.
Pelosi and the White House hope to fully offset the spending through tax hikes for the rich and corporations, among other things. According to a discussion list circulated among Democratic lawmakers and obtained by CNBC, Democrats might also consider taxes on companies with runaway CEO salaries and companies buying back a significant amount of stock.
Republicans have cited proposed tax hikes and the total price of $ 3.5 trillion to oppose the package.
Biden on Friday spelled out tax hikes for the wealthy and businesses as a way to create a fairer economy. He reiterated his promise not to collect taxes on anyone earning less than $ 400,000.
“My message to the big corporations that don’t want things to change is this: It’s time for working-class families who built this country to cut their taxes,” said Biden.
“And these corporate interests, which are doing everything possible to find allies in Congress to prevent this from happening, let me, as the old phrase goes, be very clear: I will take them over.”
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