“WASHINGTON — Days before his inauguration, President-elect Biden was eying a $1.3 trillion rescue plan aimed squarely at the middle class he has always championed, but pared down to attract some Republican support.
In a private conversation, Senator Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat who is now the majority leader, echoed others in the party and urged Mr. Biden to think bigger. True, the coronavirus pandemic had disrupted the lives of those in the middle, but it had also plunged millions of people into poverty. With Democrats in control, the new president should push for something closer to $2 trillion, Mr. Schumer told Mr. Biden.
On Friday, “Scranton Joe” Biden, whose five-decade political identity has been largely shaped by his appeal to union workers and blue-collar tradesmen like those from his Pennsylvania hometown, will sign into law a $1.9 trillion spending plan that includes the biggest antipoverty effort in a generation.
The new role as a crusader for the poor represents an evolution for Mr. Biden, who spent much of his 36 years in Congress concentrating on foreign policy, judicial fights, gun control and criminal justice issues by virtue of his committee chairmanships in the Senate. For the most part, he ceded domestic economic policy to others.”
David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
I disagree with the suggestions in this news piece that Biden really moving to the left. I do agree with the paragraph that Biden just dealt with the emergency before him. I give Biden the benefit of the doubt. And how could he forget. Even us old dogs can learn from our mistakes, and Biden would have been a fool to repeat the mistake of Obama. I think Biden, possibly with encouragement from Schumer, was taking the advice of thought leaders and advisors like Paul Krugman, who has pointed out more than once that the .9 trillion package of Obama after the sub prime market melt down in 2007 was about half of what was needed. Those warnings proved over time to be true.
Now, if only Joe could take illegal immigration seriously, he might not sink his own ship.