The White House says President Joe Biden has not given Congress a timeline for when they need to pass a rescue plan for Americans, but reiterates that there is “urgency” to get it done soon.
Watch Psaki’s remarks in the player above.
This comes after President Biden laid out the case Friday for moving fast and without Republicans, if necessary, to pass $1.9 trillion in coronavirus relief, armed with new signs of economic strain brought on by the continuing pandemic.
The stakes for the county and economy were amplified on Friday morning, shortly after Senate Democrats cast a decisive vote to muscle the plan through the chamber without Republican support, a step toward final approval next month.
January’s jobs report showed that hiring had stalled to a pace that could hinder a return to full employment for several years-with 406,000 people choosing to leave the labor force as deaths from the pandemic surged.
The speech solidified a shift from a president who entered the White House pledging bipartisanship, but also persuaded that going with the slimmed-down $618 billion Republican plan would prolong the economic pain of those who have suffered job losses because of a failure to stop the pandemic.
His remarks came a few hours after the Senate early Friday approving a budgetary measure that would let Democrats pass the plan without Republicans. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, her first.
Senate Democrats applauded after Harris announced the 51-50 vote at around 5:30 a.m. The action came after a grueling all-night session, where senators voted on amendments that could define the contours of the eventual COVID-19 aid bill.
The budget now returns to the House, where it will likely be approved again Friday to reflect the changes made by the Senate.
The measure can then work its way through committees so that additional relief can be finalized by mid-March, when extra unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid expires. It’s an aggressive timeline that will test the ability of the new administration and Congress to deliver.