“From the most unequal economic and employment crisis in modern history, we are going to build a new American economy that works for everyone, not for some, for everyone.” This is the message that President-elect Joe Biden sent on Tuesday when he presented via video his economic team led for the first time by a woman, Janet Yellen, at the head of the Treasury.
“The timing is tough but help is on the way,” Biden said.
In the midst of a health crisis – the COVID pandemic – and the economic fall that this has caused, Biden presented a team that did not stop repeating in their respective interventions their commitment not only to solving the current crisis but also the most structural experience in a country with deep inequalities.
The president, who will take office on January 20, has asked Congress to pass a stimulus package urgently to alleviate the most serious effects of the pandemic and admitted that what is approved will be the beginning.
With that purpose, to move somewhere after months of stagnation in negotiations precisely on Tuesday, a group of senators from both parties presented a package of aid that falls halfway through the path proposed by the leaders of their parties in the Congress.
The $ 906 billion stimulus, which lacks direct aid checks for most, has an uncertain future but is seen as a break from the stalemate when it comes to providing aid when some 13 million people are expected to lose their health insurance. unemployment on December 26.
The largest amounts of this transitional stimulus go to small businesses, unemployment insurance and transfers to local governments. There are also millionaire grants for education and rental assistance. Something that the Democrats have had to give in, in addition to the amounts, has been in the protection of labor lawsuits against companies due to COVID.
Current Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi were scheduled to discuss the stimulus again on Tuesday but Republican Congressional Leader Mitch McConnell has characterized it as “a waste of time.”
Biden described his governing team as “family oriented.”
And they all referred to the family to make their commitment to employment and its dignity known.
Janet Yellen, who must receive the support of the Senate to be the head of the Treasury, explained that in this department they are going to get up every morning thinking about the Americans, “their jobs, their salaries, their problems, their hopes and their dignity.” .
No action, devastation
The future Secretary of the Treasury did not sugarcoat her task, admitting that many people are “having trouble putting food on the table, paying bills and rent. It is an American tragedy. And it is essential that we move urgently. Lack of action will produce further devastation. “
Yellen said that you cannot rescue the economy and set aside the obligation to fix issues like inequality, stagnant wages, communities that have seen their industries disappear and jobs that have not been replaced. He also alluded to racial disparities in wages, opportunities jobs, housing, food security, small business loans that deny wealth creation to communities of color and gender disparities that impede the advancement of women and the potential of the economy.
For the future head of the country’s economy, this list is a convergence of tragedies that are economically unsustainable in addition to being a betrayal of the commitment that all Americans must have equal opportunities.