President Biden said that easing the financial impact of the pandemic is a top “emergency” in comments before Wednesday’s inauguration, but other Democrats told NBC just moments before Biden moved into the White House that more COVID relief may not happen until March.
Biden announced his $1.9 trillion relief last Thursday. The plan includes “aid” to companies impacted by the pandemic and to individuals who also got the previous $600 stimulus. The new relief would give an extra $1,400 to each American, making the overall amount $2,000 — a number that Republicans and Democrats both said they support.
But experts have reported to CBS and others that such a large aid package might take much longer to pass than initially thought, especially since Biden expects bipartisan agreement on the relief plan.
“The price of the package, which is named the American Rescue Plan, might face rebuttals from GOP lawmakers, who last year tried to stop the DNC from passing a $2 trillion bill. Hunter Hammond, an analyst at Heights Securities, says he predicts the ending package to be lowered to $1 trillion,” CBS reported. There’s also a concern if the Democratic Senate will hasten Biden’s agenda, or will otherwise let it linger until after they conduct the impeachment trial of President Trump.
This Wednesday, Democrats who know the plan reported to NBC that they think they could send Biden a relief bill — but not until March.
“In @PunchbowlNewsAM — Dems don’t think they will be able to get @JoeBiden a relief bill until March,” read a tweet by Jake Sherman.
That timeline means a final bill might not go through until late March or even early April, nearly 12 months after the first covid relief passed, and stimulus payments may not get to Americans’ hands until far later than most had expected, given the urgency with which the Biden team dealt with the COVID pandemic.
Instead, Biden is thought to use executive orders to change how the U.S. government takes on pandemic management and the covid vaccine — two areas of the covid response which, they say, the previous Trump White House failed. The EOs, due on Wednesday, will likely force mask-wearing on federal grounds and will restart funding of the WHO.
Biden hinted previously that he would utilize the Defense Production Act to boost vaccine creation, but details of that possibility remain hidden. Areas that got larger shipments of the vaccine are having problems vaccinating citizens and, in certain cases vaccines are being wasted because local infrastructure is seemingly lacking.
DNC leaders are already at odds with the Biden administration over how fast to pass his new agenda, given there is an impeachment trial being pushed against President Trump. Biden has requested that Washington either half their time between impeachment and his agenda — or delay the impeachment until after his first 100 days.