Biden says it's time to ‘go big’ on stimulus in push for $1,400 checks as he backs writing off $10K student loan debt
JOE Biden defended his proposed spending bill and the next round of $1,400 stimulus checks- saying "now is the time to go big".
During a speech at a CNN Town Hall on Tuesday, the president said he was not reducing stimulus payments included in his $1.9trillion Covid relief package.
"I’m committed to pass- — look, here’s — some of you are probably economists or college professors or you’re teaching in school," he said.
“There is consensus among economists, left, right and center, that overwhelming consensus is in order to grow the economy, we cant spent too much,” Biden said.
He added: "Now is the time we should be spending. Now is the time to go big."
It comes after the president this week rejected a proposal by 10 Republican lawmakers to reduce the size of the package by more than two-thirds.
And it followed weeks of reports claiming Biden was open to negotiating a cross-party bill that would satisfy both Democrat and Republican Senators alike.
The president was also previously blasted for a delay in $1,400 stimulus checks after promising to send out $2,000 payments "immediately."
“The vast majority of the serious people say bigger is better now, not spending less,” Biden added.
Biden made the promises during a CNN special in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that was focused on his Covid-19 response.
He also vowed on Tuesday night that there would be coronavirus vaccines for all Americans by July and that most schools would open full-time by May.
Other topics included a pledge to wipe thousands from student loan debts.
During the Town Hall Biden rejected a Democrat call to wipe $50,000 of student debt per person – an idea presented by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer – saying: "I will not make that happen."
Instead, the president said he would accept up to $10,000 forgiveness off am individual's debt – but that would be "dependant on whether or not you go to a private university or a public university".
The president also touted a proposal to provide free community college to families earning less than $125,000 a year.
"Everyone should be able to go to community college for free," he said. "That costs $9 billion, and we should pay for it."
He also said he plans a push to boost the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
During the session, the president acknowledged that small business owners had legitimate concerns over the proposal to raise the minimum wage.
But he said the raise could be phased in slowly as to not have a major impact on their bottom line.
He added: “It’s about doing it gradually. No one who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty.”
During the Town Hall, Biden insisted that the US is “not divided.”
”You go out there and take a look and talk to people, you have fringes on both ends,” he said.
“But it's not nearly as divided as we make it out to be and we have to bring it together.”
He also said that every living past president has called him except for Trump.
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