- Stimulus package negotiations continue in the USA
- Jerome Powell: The pace of economic recovery has slowed in recent months
- Joe Biden has started filling out key positions in his administration
Stimulus Package Negotiations Continue in the USA
President of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, US Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell, House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are continuing their negotiations on an amount of approximately $900 billion in stimulus packages aimed at mitigating the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Bloomberg’s report, the incentive scheme could include $17 billion in aid to airlines. Sources also stated that the stimulus package bill will include $600 payments to individuals and $300 per week unemployment insurance payments. However, CNBC reported that the development of the package agreement would not provide liability provisions for businesses or assistance to state and local governments. Disagreements have blocked lawmakers from formulating a year-end rescue plan over these two problems.
If the aid package is not combined with the budget draft to fund the government and cannot be voted on until Friday, a temporary measure will have to be taken to prevent the government from partially shutting down.
Details regarding the final version of the package, discussed for a long time between Republicans and Democrats, were announced earlier this week. Accordingly, the package was designed in two parts. The first part of the bill includes support for small companies of about $300 billion, extension of unemployment benefits of $ 300 per week, and aid for the distribution of vaccines.
In the second part, there are only two items: the state aid of $160 billion demanded by the Democrats and an article that protects the employers against the lawsuits that can be opened after the pandemic as the Republicans demand.
Jerome Powell: The Pace of Economic Recovery has Slowed in Recent Months
US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stated that the pace of economic recovery has slowed down in recent months and that the economy will need to be supported for a long time.
Powell held a press conference via teleconference, after the Fed kept the policy rate stable at 0-0.25 percent.
“The recovery has generally been faster than expected. The rate of unemployment remained high in November. The Fed aims to provide strong support to the economy. Spending on services remained weak and durable goods remained strong. We will let inflation hover above 2 percent for a while,” said Jerome Powell.
Powell said, “The road ahead is extremely uncertain. The pace of recovery in the labor market has slowed down. The pandemic has left significant traces on inflation. The increase in Covid-19 cases is alarming. Significant difficulties and uncertainties continue in vaccination studies. We will communicate when we decide to reduce the pace of bond purchases.’’
“We need to be remarkably close to our economic goals. We think our current policy stance continues to be appropriate. We have the flexibility to provide more support to the economy. If we feel that the economy needs a little more relaxation, we can achieve this. We do not have any plans to add new lending facilities. The need for the financial policy is too much. We must continue to support the economy for a while. We will not raise interest until we see inflation reach and stay above 2 percent. It will not be easy to raise inflation. There is significant disinfection pressure around the world. We believe the economy will be stronger in the second half of 2021. We will not make a front-loaded rate hike. The course of the economy depends heavily on the pandemic. We believe that enlarging the balance sheet supports the economy “,” he added.
Joe Biden Has Started Filling out Key Positions in His Administration
President-elect Joe Biden has spent the weeks since the election planning to take the reins of the federal government with the inauguration of the nation’s 46th president quickly approaching.
In addition to rolling out targets in his first 100 days in office to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the president-elect has begun to fill key roles in his administration, naming nominees who will serve in his Cabinet if confirmed, and appointing top positions in his White House.
As the possible cabinet of the elected president Joe Biden, who will take office in the USA on January 20, begins to take shape, the names he announced show that the administration will be very surprising. As a matter of fact, it was announced that Biden was planning to elect the Native American Deb Haaland as the Minister of the Interior. If Haaland, one of the Democratic representatives of the state of New Mexico, is elected Minister of the Interior in the House of Representatives, it will be the first time that a Native American has entered the US cabinet.
According to another claim in the US press, Biden also elected Pete Buttigieg, former South Bend Mayor, who withdrew from the presidential race and supported him, as Minister of Transport. If his candidacy is approved in the Senate, Buttigieg will become the first known LGBTQ+ minister in US history.
It is noteworthy that women and minority representatives are predominant in the cabinet that Biden started to determine after winning the elections on November 3. As a matter of fact, retired General Lloyd Austin, announced by Biden for the post of Defense Ministry, will become the country’s first black Defense Minister if his nomination is approved. Biden’s chosen Latin American-origin Alejandro Mayorkas will be the first immigrant to be appointed to this post, while Avril Haines will become the first woman to become the Director of National Intelligence if she gets approval from the Senate. Treasury Secretary candidate Janet Yellen will be the first woman to take this post.
“By the end of this process, this Cabinet will be the most representative of any Cabinet in American history,” Mr. Biden said Wednesday. “We’ll have more people of color than any Cabinet ever. We’ll have more women than any Cabinet ever. We’ll have a Cabinet of barrier-breakers. A Cabinet of firsts.”