Biden announces huge infrastructure plan to 'win the future'
Biden hopes to pass an infrastructure plan by summer, which could mean relying solely on the slim Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate. “Ninety-one Fortune 500 Companies, including Amazon, pay not a single solitary penny in income tax,” Biden said. “Wall Street didn’t build this country," Biden said. The new construction could keep the economy running hot, coming on the heels of Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. But we have to get it done.”AdDemocratic leaders embraced Biden’s plan Wednesday.
Biden's top aides unlikely to qualify for relief payments
WASHINGTON – At least one group in America is unlikely to get any money from President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan — his own top aides. Most of Biden’s senior West Wing advisers made far more than the threshold that would qualify them for direct payments from the president’s COVID-19 relief bill, according to White House financial disclosure forms released Saturday. Others in the West Wing — whose positions don't require Senate confirmation — have had deep ties to the business world. He was listed as having a salary of $1.8 million, according to his disclosure form. Brian Deese, head of the national economic council, was previously global head of sustainable investing at BlackRock, according to his disclosure.
Yellen's encore: Lending economic heft to Biden's virus plan
“Yellen is uniquely poised," said Brian Deese, director of Biden’s National Economic Council. "She has as much experience and expertise of addressing the challenges of our time as any living economic policymaker today. AdYellen juggled parenting with her work as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1980s, helping to build her son’s pinewood derby car as a colleague fed economic data into a computer. It’s an argument cultivated from years of research that fully blossomed during Yellen’s time as Fed chair. She said Yellen values differences of opinion and diversity because that helps her get a fuller sense of the economy.
Airline CEOs, Biden officials consider green-fuel breaks
Airline officials are talking to the Biden administration about support for incentives to use cleaner fuels for airplanes. United Airlines said CEO Scott Kirby asked administration officials to support incentives for sustainable aviation fuel and technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere. A United Nations aviation group has concluded that biofuels will remain a tiny source of aviation fuel for several years. Some environmentalists would prefer the Biden administration to impose tougher emissions standards on aircraft rather than create breaks for biofuels. “We stand ready to work in partnership with the Biden administration.”
Biden meets Republicans on virus aid, but no quick deal
President Joe Biden meets Republican lawmakers to discuss a coronavirus relief package, in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in Washington. From left, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. AdRepublicans are tapping into bipartisan urgency to improve the nation's vaccine distribution and vastly expand virus testing with $160 billion in aid. Psaki said earlier Monday there is “obviously a big gap” between the $1.9 trillion package Biden has proposed and the $618 billion counteroffer. Biden himself has been on the phone to some of the Republicans, the official said.
Biden to meet with GOP lawmakers to discuss virus relief
The meeting to be hosted by Biden would amount to the most public involvement for the president in the negotiations for the next round of virus relief. Though Biden is wanting “a full exchange of views," Psaki reiterated that the president remains in favor of moving forward with a far-reaching relief package. But Cedric Richmond, a senior Biden adviser, said the president “is very willing to meet with anyone to advance the agenda." Under the Biden plan, families with incomes up to $300,000 could receive some stimulus money. “I support passing COVID relief with support from Republicans if we can get it.
EXPLAINER: Executive orders can be swift but fleeting
A new president may overturn a predecessor's order by issuing another executive order effectively canceling it. BOTH SIDES DO IT; BOTH SIDES COMPLAINTo be sure, modern presidents from both parties have been heavy users of executive orders — and have been criticized by the opposition party. Not surprisingly, some Republicans have complained about Biden’s early reliance on executive orders. As his presidency plays out, an overreliance on executive orders could undercut that argument. HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROWThe experiences of both Trump and Obama underscore the fleeting nature of executive orders.
White House begins talks with lawmakers on COVID-19 relief
At least a dozen senators met for an hour and 15 minutes in a virtual call with White House National Economic Council director Brian Deese and other senior White House officials. Many hope to approve a relief package before former President Donald Trump's trial, which is set to begin in two weeks, overtakes Washington’s attention. Senators also wanted more data on how the White House reached the $1.9 trillion figure. “It was about how can we work together to help the people of this country.”White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients and White House legislative affairs director Louisa Terrell also joined the call. “We’re going to continue to push because we can’t wait,” said White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Biden ordering stopgap help as talks start on big aid plan
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, in Washington. “This can help tens of millions of families — especially those who cannot provide meals for their kids,” Biden said. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a Thursday briefing that the proposal has support ranging from democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Psaki stressed that Biden wants any deal to be bipartisan and that the process of meeting with lawmakers to talk through the plan is just beginning. Biden must balance the need for immediate aid against the risk of prolonged negotiations.
Fight over Fed powers stalls $900 billion aid plan
WASHINGTON – An arcane battle over emergency Federal Reserve powers foiled efforts on Saturday to lock down an agreement on an almost $1 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package. The deadlock was just the latest stumble in a partisan, months-long fight over pandemic relief and the lack of progress is backing lawmakers once again up against a government shutdown deadline Sunday night. Lawmakers on both sides said a provision by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., that would curb emergency Federal Reserve powers was the sticking point. At issue are Fed emergency programs, launched amid the pandemic this spring, that provided loans to small and mid-size businesses and bought state and local government bonds. Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed after the Great Recession, the Fed can only set up emergency programs with the support of the treasury secretary.
The Latest: Biden: Trump inaugural presence important to US
WASHINGTON – The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):9:55 p.m.President-elect Joe Biden says it is important that President Donald Trump attend his inauguration only in the sense that it would demonstrate the nation’s commitment to a peaceful transfer of power between political rivals. ___8:45 p.m.Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have made a fresh push for President-elect Joe Biden to nominate New Mexico Gov. But $207.5 million came in after Election Day as Trump repeatedly – and falsely – claimed President-elect Joe Biden won due to voter fraud. Gina Raimondo has knocked down talk that she is in the running for President-elect Joe Biden’s secretary of health and human services. ___12:25 p.m.President-elect Joe Biden has tapped former Obama administration senior economic adviser Brian Deese to be director of the National Economic Council.