Biden Calls Bipartisan Stimulus Plan ‘Down Payment’ on Recovery

President-elect Joe Biden described the $908 billion pandemic relief proposal from a bipartisan group in the House and Senate as “just a down payment” and that he expects Congress to approve more stimulus spending in early 2021.

“They’re on their way to being able to come up with a package that meets the basic immediate needs that we have, but I’ve made it real clear, it’s just a down payment,” he told reporters Friday in Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden said he thinks there will be “enough Republicans that would join enough Democrats in the Senate and the House” to pass the $908 billion agreement. He expects enough Republicans to come to the table next year on another stimulus bill because “the country is going to be in dire, dire, dire straits if they don’t.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Capitol Hill Friday that there’s momentum building toward a compromise plan, though Republicans complained about the scale of aid to states included in the bipartisan proposal that’s become the best chance yet for a deal.

Biden said he wants to add direct relief to Americans and suggested that it’s a possibility still being considered in negotiations. “I think it would be better if they had the $1,200” in individual relief payments, he said. “I understand that may still be in play.”

Biden declined to discuss the role he’s had in the talks. “It would be kind of stupid for me to tell you what I did, wouldn’t it? Because it would be hard for me to do it again,” he said.

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