Washington: “Help is on the way,” President-elect Joe Biden said while announcing Tuesday his advisers who he hopes can guide the United States back to solid economic footing.
The six-person economic team Biden has tapped includes veterans from Democratic administrations. The most important of them being Janet Yellen, who was Fed Reserve chair in the Obama administration, as Treasury Secretary.
He pointed to what has been a two-track economic recovery amid the pandemic, in which working people continue to struggle while the wealthy get further ahead.
Biden said Congress should come together to pass a “robust” aid package, but he also repeated his call for “immediate relief” in the lame duck period before he takes office. Indeed, he has joined other top Democrats to back the $908 billion bipartisan relief effort announced this week. It includes $288 billion for small businesses, including for the Paycheck Protection Program; $180 billion for additional Unemployment Insurance and $160 billion for state and local governments. But the plan doesn’t include the second round of stimulus checks.
The President-elect’s tasks include keeping businesses and schools open safely, delivering economic relief for those who have lost jobs or had hours cut, stabilizing the nation’s health care system and addressing racial inequities the virus has laid bare.
“Our message to everyone struggling right now is this: Help is on the way,” Biden said.
Yellen also highlighted many of the economic challenges facing the Biden administration and vowed to champion policy changes to deal with issues such as gender discrimination and small business lending that blocks wealth-building opportunities for communities of color.
“It’s a convergence of tragedies that is not only economically unstable, but one that betrays our commitment to giving every American an equal chance to get ahead,” Yellen said.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, President Donald Trump hinted at a White House Christmas party that he is looking to wage a 2024 comeback campaign.
“It’s been an amazing four years. We are trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years,” Trump told a crowd of mostly RNC members. But he is not ready to concede as he released a video diatribe Wednesday against the rigged 2020 election.