President-elect Joe Biden has called on Congress to quickly approve a “robust” aid plan to address the Covid-19 economic crisis, which his pick to lead the US Treasury called a “tragedy” for American families.
As he presented his economic team, including former Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary, Biden said his administration will push for even more measures to right the economy reeling from the damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I know times are tough, but I want you to know that help is on the way,” Biden said at the event.
Yellen said later that the world’s largest economy was facing a “historic” crisis hitting the most vulnerable the hardest.
She warned that inaction would lead to a further downturn, “causing yet more devastation.”
“So many people struggling to put food on the table and pay bills and rent. It’s an American tragedy,” Yellen said at the event in Wilmington, Delaware.
The US Congress has been deadlocked on new aid legislation, with Democratic and Republican leaders far apart on which type and how much assistance to provide.
Economists have warned of the need for further stimulus as the country faces difficult months ahead before vaccines become available to the wider public.
Biden is due to be sworn in on January 20.