WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — What’s next for coronavirus stimulus?
“This bill is just the first step, a down payment to addressing the crisis, crises more than one, that we’re in,” said President-elect Joe Biden.
On the heels of Congress passing a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package, which still hasn’t been signed into law by President Donald Trump, Biden said this week that lawmakers should prepare to act again.
“Congress did its job this week,” Biden said. “I can and I must ask them to do it again next year.”
Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., said negotiating another round of relief has already started, on some measures that didn’t make it into the bill.
“Well we already have to be perfectly honest with you,” Reed said.
However, he said the state of the pandemic should dictate what comes next.
“Where we’re at with the vaccine distribution, what the status of COVID-19 is months down the road, and also what the economic condition of the country is,” Reed said.
Many Republicans and Democrats agree that the relief measures that just passed are temporary. Many say Congress must do more.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent a “dear colleague letter” saying there’s more work to be done and that her party is “ready for the next step.”
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, also said the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package is only meant to address short-term, immediate needs.
“This is an emergency provision isn’t it,” Romney said. “We’re looking, not just at what we’re going to do long term for the country and stimulating the economy and so forth. We have people hurting right now. We have an emergency.”
It took nearly nine months of stalled negotiations for Congress to find a compromise on COVID-19 relief.
“I don’t think we should prescribe what should happen next, but we need to get started what economists are saying
and what might be the next thing economists are looking at,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va.
Congresswoman Spanberger said there are lessons to be learned
for the next negotiation.
“I hope we’ll follow the same framework we did this time which is to not argue over dollar amounts but, in fact, focus on programs,” she said.