President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will speak about the economy Monday afternoon in Wilmington, Delaware, according to a press release from the Biden-Harris transition team.
The duo will speak “on the economic recovery and building back better in the long-term,” in their first speech addressing the country’s economic situation since their victory in the presidential election.
The speech in Wilmington is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. EST.
During the presidential race, Biden laid out an expansive economic agenda focused on increasing the number of American jobs, strengthening the social safety net and fighting economic inequality.
At the speech in Wilmington, the president-elect could offer updated versions of these plans, given the new realities of a worsening pandemic and economic outlook, as well as the likely reality of a divided Congress.
Analysts have projected that Biden’s proposals will bring back the 11 million jobs and $670 billion in annualized gross domestic product wiped out – and not yet recovered – in the crisis more rapidly than if President Donald Trump had won a second term.
The scale of Biden’s plans now, however, hinges on whether Democrats will narrowly control the Senate or if all legislation must be negotiated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Biden has already convened with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on the “urgent need” for more stimulus, according to aides. Biden has not yet spoken with Republican leaders in Congress.
In the near-term, Biden’s economic plans are expected to focus heavily on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” Biden said when he announced his coronavirus task force, the first move of his transition process.
As with the rest of his economic proposals, the size of the relief package will depend on which party ends up in control of the Senate.
In the longer-term, Biden is proposing $7.3 trillion in new spending over 10 years, which would go toward upgrading the nation’s roads, bridges and highways; building a clean energy economy; investing in research and development to bolster manufacturing; providing tuition-free community college; ensuring access to affordable child care and universal preschool, and providing aid for Americans to buy or rent homes.
It is unclear how much, if any, of those proposals Biden could get passed through Congress, even with Democratic control of both chambers.
Outside of legislation, the president still has significant space to maneuver on economic issues. Biden does not need congressional approval, for instance, to require the government and its contractors to buy American products, something he has promised to mandate.
Biden, like Trump before him, will also have significant space to determine U.S. trade policy. The Biden administration will likely have significant sway in determining the country’s economic relationship with allies like the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Biden will also continue to grapple trade with China, the most significant — and also the most fraught — economic relationship for the United States.
As with both his predecessors, Biden is also likely to use executive orders to enact his economic vision. Like former President Barack Obama, Biden is likely to issue executive orders promoting clean energy, prohibit human trafficking and raising workplace standards with government contractors.
Biden has also reportedly included a focus on addressing racial economic inequality in his administration and is expected to select economic advisors with expertise in how to redress longstanding economic discrimination.
Biden is also likely to reverse a flurry of Trump-era executive orders on environmental and financial deregulation, immigration, trade and federal spending, amounting to a significant change in the economic policy of the country.
Contributing: Paul Davidson
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