CNBC contributor Ben White said that President Joe Biden “very much wants to do a bipartisan deal” when it comes to his administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan to lift America out of its economic crisis.
“He doesn’t want to blow up the filibuster in the Senate,” said White, who is also Politico’s chief economic correspondent. “He would like to come to an agreement on a large package, maybe not $2 trillion but something close to that, that has unemployment insurance in it, that has $1,400 checks and the rest, that’s their main goal, so they’re going to try to do that.”
Biden vowed to act quickly and fix the U.S. economy during his second full day in office. He called his plan a “moral obligation” to deliver millions of Americans financial relief, and signed two executive orders Friday. One focused on raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, while the other expanded federal food stamp benefits.
“We cannot, will not let people go hungry,” proclaimed Biden. “We cannot let people be evicted because of nothing they did themselves. They cannot watch people lose their jobs. And we have to act. We have to act now.”
Friday’s executive orders build upon Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan. He said his proposal has bi-partisan support from the “majority of American mayors and governors.” However, the Biden administration must get Congress to pass the plan. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the plan is dead on arrival, but noted “there are components of it that I like.”
The White House says it is doing outreach this Sunday and there’s a phone call set with 16 senators to discuss the president’s relief plan. White told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that if negotiations break down, the Biden administration has two options.
“One, blow up the filibuster, go with 51 votes and slam it through that way,” explained White in a Friday evening interview. “Biden doesn’t want to do that, he’s an institutionalist. The other, more difficult is to try to do the checks and send money to the people, and break it down into smaller pieces.”