Biden calls for student loan forgiveness, more aid in next wave of coronavirus response

Former Vice President Joe Biden wants Americans to know how he’d implement the massive $2 trillion coronavirus package to jumpstart the economy if he were in the White House.

The all-but-certain Democratic presidential nominee on Thursday unveiled his plan for implementing the funding, which aims to rescue workers, small businesses and large companies devastated by an economy that’s been largely shut down as many Americans huddle in their homes to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

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President Trump is waiting to sign the bill into law after likely passage by the House of Representatives on Friday. The bipartisan measure passed the Senate 96-0 late Wednesday night.

“The United States Senate just reached a deal on a major economic relief package. It’s a very important step and includes support for families and small businesses, the very things I’ve been calling for for a while now. And when it passes, the key will be its execution,” Biden said in a video that accompanied his plan.

Biden outlined steps he “would do immediately” to make the plan work, including using “all available authorities,” including the much-discussed Defense Production Act, to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the diseased spread by the coronavirus outbreak.

President Trump invoked the law last week – but has been criticized by Democrats for not yet implementing a key provision that would require private companies to immediately prioritize production of supplies desperately needed by hospitals and medical workers on the frontlines in the fight to combat the coronavirus.

Biden also said that he’d bring congressional leaders together to hammer out the next deal. Biden said among the items he’d push for in the next package would be providing student loan forgiveness for at least $10,000 per person, Social Security increases, full paid sick leave for our workers, and if needed more direct cash relief.

Biden took aim at the president for his suggestion this week that social distancing mandates could be relaxed next month in order to get the country back to work

In recent days, there’s been talk that we have to choose between public health and our economy,” Biden said. “That’s simply a false choice and a dangerous one. It would be catastrophic to reopen everything without a plan, and then have a spike in cases and shut it back down.”

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The former vice president also said if he were in the White House he’d “appoint a task force reporting directly to me to make sure that every single dollar going out the door gets to the people who need it the most.”

He said that would include keeping workers on the payroll, keeping “small business in business throughout this crisis,” and he said that “I would call in the major banks and tell them to get those small business loans out the door. If they don’t make small business a priority, I would seek authority, similar to the Defense Production Act, to make sure that they had to do that.”

Biden added that he’d insist that CEOs of larger companies “make hard commitments so they will put the aid toward their workers, not enriching CEOs or shareholders.”

Pointing to Trump, Biden stressed that “Congress is doing its job. The president has to do his now. This is all about implementation.”

Biden’s plan is part of his push this week to increase his media profile and project leadership as he explains how he’d handle the federal government’s response to the pandemic if he were in the White House.

Source: FoxNews

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