(Washington) The US Senate on Friday engaged in long negotiations to pass the nearly $ 1900 billion stimulus package that Joe Biden wants, the new president’s first priority.
After nine hours of paralysis, the Democrats and the White House convinced the moderate senator to vote on a key feature of this gigantic aid plan, which is supposed to save the world’s first economy hit hard by the pandemic.
“This agreement allows us to go ahead with the American stimulus plan, which we desperately need,” the White House ruled following its announcement, in the voice of its spokesperson, Jane Psaki.
But the negotiations are not over yet.
Senators are preparing to begin the “Rama vote,” a marathon process in which they can propose amendments and demand a vote on each. An opportunity for the Republican opposition, which considers these measures too expensive and not sufficiently targeted, to lodge a complaint.
But the Democrats have a slim majority in the Senate and their leader Chuck Schumer was convinced on Thursday that he might pass the plan “this week,” which includes checks for $ 1,400 to millions of Americans, in addition to $ 350 billion in aid to the states. And local communities.
The text will then return to the Democratic House of Representatives for a final vote, before President Biden can ratify it.
The latter has hurt the need to adopt it without delay, tempering the enthusiasm created by the good employment numbers in the US unveiled on Friday, a sign of a small economic recovery in the spring.
Bars and restaurants are hiring
In February, 379,000 jobs were created, nearly three times what it was in January, the Ministry of Labor announced in the morning.
But it will take some time to return to pre-pandemic levels: 18 million Americans are still receiving benefits, after losing their jobs or seeing their income decline.
Without agreement on a stimulus plan, aid to millions of them could end in mid-March.
The US President warned that “at this rate, it will take two years to get back on the screws” and restore the February 2020 level.
The bars and restaurants, which have suffered particularly since the start of the crisis, are more than they rented in the last month. In fact, the ban on serving indoor food has been relaxed in some areas.
Other activities related to recreation and accommodation, as well as in health services, retail and manufacturing, have also created new jobs.
The country’s firms are positioning themselves particularly on the battlefield for the declared economic mini-boom.
Since spring, consumption must indeed jump, spurred by the vaccinations carried out at full speed, and the public aid distributed since the start of the crisis, which, along with reduced spending, has populated the bank accounts of Americans, particularly those of the wealthiest. .
According to Joe Biden, the good job creation numbers are definitely due to the $ 900 billion stimulus plan adopted at the end of December and signed by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
And he warned that without new aid, all of this would “slow down”, “we cannot take a step forward and two steps back.”