Biden: Rescue plan, 'answer to crisis we are in'

President Joe Biden says the rescue plan he is pushing forward in Congress is the "answer to the crisis we are in." (Feb. 5)

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: I'm not cutting the size of the checks. They're going to be $1,400, period. That's what the American people were promised.

Very quickly, here's the rest of my plan. It has money for food and nutrition so that folks don't go hungry. I think our Republican friends are going to support that. It extends unemployment insurance, which is going to run out on March 13th of this year to the end of September of this year, because they're still going to be-- we're still going to have high unemployment.

It's big and it's bold, and it's a real answer to the crisis we're in. And it's one more thing. And I want to say it very clearly on this-- be very clear on this point-- it's better economics.

It not only addresses the immediate crisis we're in, it's better for the long-term economic health of our nation and our competitiveness. My plan creates more jobs, creates more economic growth, and does more to make us competitive with the rest of the world.

So to me, this is-- this is what this moment comes down to. Are we going to pass a big enough package to vaccinate people, to get people back to work, to alleviate the suffering in this country this year? That's what I want to do.

Or are we going to say to millions of Americans who are out of work, many of whom have been out of work for six months or longer, who've been scarred by this economic and public health crisis, don't worry hang on, things are going to get better; we're going to go smaller, so it's just going to take us a lot longer? Too many people in the nation have already suffered for too long through this pandemic and economic crisis.

And telling them we don't have the money to alleviate their suffering, to get to full employment sooner, to vaccinate America after $8 trillion in deficit spending over the past four years, much of it having gone to the wealthiest people in the country, is neither true nor necessary. We do have the resources to get to full employment sooner. We do have the tools to reduce a lot of suffering in this country. We just have to choose to use them.

So it's time to act. We can reduce suffering in this country. We can put people back to work. We can control-- gain control of this virus. That's what the American rescue plan does.