Speed Reads

coronavirus relief

Biden reportedly could sacrifice unemployment benefit boost to secure relief bill

Incoming presidents "typically want to wait until they have the reins of power in order to put their fingerprints on the policies coming out of the door," Jared Bernstein, who served as President-elect Joe Biden's chief economist during the Obama administration, said this week during a virtual conference. But, he added, Biden would prefer that not be the case when it comes to coronavirus relief, which is "something that should happen now."

Biden has entered the coronavirus relief fight and wants a deal done before he's sworn in as president, Politico reports, even though waiting would theoretically increase the Democratic Party's chances of securing a larger deal, which is currently a non-starter for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "They care more about governing than they care about politics on this one," one person in touch with the transition team told Politico.

Biden's camp is reportedly focused on ensuring Black-owned businesses receive loans they had trouble securing following the first relief bill, getting funding for state and local governments, and extending enhanced unemployment benefits. The latter issue is where Biden "may have to give something up to McConnell that we really don't want to give up to get" a deal, "but we simply have to do this," another person close to the transition team said. Read more at Politico.