White House unveils big business support for $1.9tn COVID relief plan with CEOs including Google, Goldman Sachs and AT&T’s bosses saying it is ‘vital’
- President Joe Biden ‘s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill is getting a boost from big business
- More than 160 senior executives across seven major industries have written a letter to Congressional leaders backing the package
- ‘Congress should act swiftly and on a bipartisan basis to authorize a stimulus and relief package,’ the letter said, pointing to the Biden-Harris plan
- Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon and Google CEO Sundar Pichai were among the business leaders who signed the letter
CNN reported Wednesday that more than 160 senior executives across seven major industries have written a letter to Congressional leaders backing the package.
‘Previous federal relief measures have been essential, but more msut be done to put the country on a trajectory for a strong, durable recovery,’ the letter said. ‘Congress should act swiftly and on a bipartisan basis to authorize a stimulus and relief package along the lines of the Biden-Harris administration’s proposed American Rescue Plan.’
President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package got the backing of more than 150 business leaders in the form of a letter sent Wednesday to Congressional leaders
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon (left) and Google CEO Sundar Pichai (right) were among the business leaders who signed the letter
At Wednesday’s White House press briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki said the letter proves that there’s ‘growing concensus’ that this package needs to pass.
Psaki said the letter was put together by outside groups and wasn’t organized by the White House.
‘We did not play an organizational role here,’ she said.
Biden rolled out $1.9 trillion package even before he was sworn-in, and the House is expected to vote on it this week, with the Senate following suit shortly thereafter.
He’s justified the cost by saying he needs to ‘go big’ to deal with the economic crisis caused by the nearly year-long COVID-19 pandemic.
While the president had originally hoped that he would pick up some GOP support, especially from moderates in the Senate, so far no Republicans have bitten.
The White House has since defined ‘bipartisan’ as Republican voters approving of the package in polling.
The White House’s Rapid Response Director Michael Gwin tweeted out figures Wednesday morning that included that 60 per cent of Republicans backed Biden’s bill.
The biggest complaint from GOP lawmakers is the plan is simply too expensive.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has also complained that the package is ‘totally partisan.’
Progressive Democrats want a $15 minimum wage to be included in the final bill, but that decision will have to be made by the Senate parliamentarian as reconciliation – meaning just a majority of votes in the Senate will be needed for passage – will likely be used to pass the bill.
Among the business bosses to sign the letter: Google CEO Sundar Pichai, AT&T CEO John Stankey, Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, Lyft’s co-founder and president John Zimmer, Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO David Solomon and Blackstone’s chairman and CEO Stephen Schwartzman, CNN reported.
‘Strengthening the public health response to coronavirus is the first step toward economic restoration,’ the letter said. ‘The American Rescue Plan mobilizes a national vaccination program, delivers economic relief to struggling families, and supports communities that were most damaged by the pandemic.’
The American Rescue Plan includes money for vaccination efforts, for reopening schools, for small business relief and for expanded federal unemployment benefits. And it adds $1,400 to the previously passed $600 stimulus checks, for the $2,000 amount wanted by both former President Donald Trump, before he left office, and Biden.