WILMINGTON, Del. (NewsNation Now) — President-elect Joe Biden delivered remarks Monday after he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were briefed by their national security and foreign policy teams.
Biden began his address in Wilmington, Delaware with praise for federal, state, and local law enforcement officials who are investigating the explosion in Nashville.
He thanked the police officers “who worked so quickly to evacuate the area before the explosion occurred — risking their own lives. And for all the firefighters and first responders who jumped into action early.”
Speaking on the transition of power, Biden said some agencies have provided “exemplary cooperation,” but noted he has “encountered obstruction from the political leadership” of the U.S. Department of Defense.
“The truth is many of the agencies that are critical to our security have incurred enormous damage. And many of them have been hollowed out in personnel, capacity, and in morale,” Biden said.
President Donald Trump doesn’t have any public events scheduled for Monday, a day after he signed into law a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package that restored unemployment benefits for millions of Americans. Biden had called on Trump to sign the bill.
In his last public speech before the Christmas holiday, Biden praised Congress for passing the coronavirus relief bill, but promised that he will try to get a much larger aid package approved once he takes office next month.
Despite signing off on the measures, Trump had criticized the package and demanded an increase in direct stimulus payments to struggling Americans from $600 to $2,000.
“As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child,” the president said in a statement.
Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate plan to bring Trump’s proposal to raise stimulus check amounts to $2,000 up for a vote this week. The House is anticipated to vote on the issue Monday evening.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.