WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration plans to discuss the need for economic stimulus with a group of senators on Sunday, White House national economic council director Brian Deese said on Friday, as it seeks to build support for what it sees as a critical round of new coronavirus relief.
“We’re at a precarious moment for the virus and the economy. Without decisive action, we risk falling into a very serious economic hole, even more serious than the crisis we find ourselves,” Deese told reporters at a White House briefing.
Democratic President Joe Biden, who took office on Wednesday, has proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. But some key moderate Republicans have said it is too soon to move additional relief legislation following passage in December of a $900 billion stimulus package.
The pandemic recession has hit Americans hard. Some 16 million are now receiving some type of unemployment benefit, and an estimated 29 million don’t have enough to eat. Women, minorities and low-income service workers have been disproportionately impacted, with Black and Hispanic workers facing higher jobless rates than white workers.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose; Writing by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Chris Reese and Andrea Ricci)