The White House says President Joe Biden has not given Congress a timeline for when they need to pass a rescue plan for Americans, but reiterates that there is "urgency" to get it done soon. (Feb. 5)
JEN PSAKI: Well, I think, one, the vast majority of the American people support this package that would bring relief to American families, that would get shots in the arms of the American people, and would help reopen schools. Those are not Democratic ideals. They're not Republican ideals. They are American ideals. So we still keep the door open to seek ideas, ideas to make the package stronger, from any Republican or other Democrats who want to bring them forward.
First of all, the president ran on unifying the country and putting forward ideas that would help address the crises we're facing. He didn't run on a promise to unite the Democratic and Republican Party into one party in Washington. This package has the vast majority of support from the American public. This is something that people want. They want to see it passed. They want these checks to get into communities. They want this funding to go to schools. They want more money for vaccine distribution.
I'm not going to set a timeline. I understand the desire and interest in that. But urgency means he would-- he is pleased to see that members of Congress, that Leader Schumer and that Speaker Pelosi are moving this forward rapidly, that there is a fire under the bellies-- in the bellies of people in Congress to get this package through, move it through the process over the coming days and weeks. But that's up to them on the timeline. He just is going to continue to argue for urgency because the American people, until they know when they're going to get checks, until they know when schools are going to get funding, it's hard for them to plan.
We know that there are timelines that are coming up. One, we're at the brink of spending out the package from December. $600 billion of that has already been spent out, and a lot of it is going to be spent out in the coming weeks. There is going to be a need for additional relief in all of these categories, so, hence, the urgency. But I don't have an exact deadline or due date, other than let's keep moving.