‘People are hurting,’ Biden says as jobs report spurs stimulus push
February 5, 2021
By Trevor Hunnicutt
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After weak jobs data showed the U.S. labor market recovery is stalling, President Joe Biden and his economic team on Friday hammered home the same message in meetings, interviews and television appearances: It’s time to get more money out to the economy.
Meeting with top Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives at the White House, Biden said the United States would not return to full employment at the current pace of job creation for 10 years, underscoring the need for lawmakers to act on his $1.9 trillion pandemic-related aid proposal.
“It’s people’s lives. Real-life people are hurting and we can fix it,” Biden told reporters. “When we help them we are also helping our competitive capacity,” he said. Biden is expected to push for more fiscal stimulus during a speech later on Friday.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Vice President Kamala Harris also will take part in a virtual discussion with members of the Black Chambers of Commerce to discuss the president’s rescue plan.
U.S. employment growth rebounded less than expected in January and job losses in December were worse than initially thought, strengthening the argument for additional government funding to aid the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden’s stimulus proposal has met resistance mostly from Republican lawmakers who have expressed concerns about the swelling national debt. The Senate worked late into the night on Thursday, with Biden’s fellow Democrats aiming to overcome the Republican opposition to the relief plan.
Democrats have a narrow majority in the House and effective control in the Senate.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Writing by Jonnelle Marte; Editing by Paul Simao)