Joe Biden calls for unity to vote for his vast recovery plan

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The new American president, Joe Biden, speaks about his administration’s stimulus plan on January 22 at the White House in Washington. JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS

Joe Biden’s first week went well: the labor economist Janet Yellen saw, Friday, January 22, his appointment as Secretary of the Treasury unanimously approved by the Senate Finance Committee, and his confirmation in plenary should be overwhelming.

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The president issued the first presidential decrees to come to the aid of Americans stricken by Covid-19 and poverty. “We cannot, will not let people go hungry. We cannot let people be kicked out. We cannot see people losing their jobs. And we must act. We must act now ”, Joe Biden said Friday.

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The president has taken a whole series of measures so that the Ministry of Agriculture increases its food aid to the 30 million Americans who say they have difficulty feeding themselves. He extended the moratorium on rental evictions, as 14 million households have rent arrears. Mr. Biden also simplified access to federal aid so that small businesses, often run by minorities, can assert their rights after getting lost in the administrative bush under the Trump administration. It granted the right to employees who do not feel in health security in their company to receive unemployment benefits. He also demanded that the federal government pay its workers and subcontractors a salary equivalent to $ 15 an hour, an amount that he would like to generalize to all of the United States.

But for that, it is necessary to count on the Congress of the United States, in particular the Senate, which has 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.

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The latter will lean to the left only with the decisive voice of the vice-president, Kamala Harris, and again, not in all cases: it takes a majority of 60 votes to vote for non-purely budgetary laws, such as the increase in the budget. minimum wage.

Joe Biden, who is focusing his action on the Covid-19 crisis, called for unity. “We are in a national emergency and we must act as if we are in a national emergency. I don’t believe there are Democrats and Republicans who go hungry and lose their jobs. There are Americans who go hungry and lose their jobs. “

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“It’s only getting worse”

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The state of mind seems less deleterious than under Donald Trump. For example, Republican Senator from Iowa Chuck Grassley, outgoing chairman of the finance committee, felt that Janet Yellen’s unanimous nomination “Testifies to my interest and to all my Republican colleagues in working in cooperation and in a transpartisan manner. We are not interested in cancerous cultural wars which only serve to divide the nation ”. By working together, Republicans hope to save most of the tax cuts from Donald Trump’s 2017 tax reform.

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