President-elect Joe Biden's director of the National Economic Council has warned that the U.S. economy is "spiraling downward" after facing record unemployment numbers and businesses that have been damaged if not completely destroyed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to Bloomberg, top economic adviser Brian Deese stated on Sunday morning that decisive action will be needed to save the financial future of the country and that the incoming administration hopes to tackle the crisis by implementing a $1.9 trillion spending plan to spur "the kind of robust recovery we need."
"We are at a very precarious moment," he explained on Fox New Sunday. "The economy and the virus are spiraling downward. Now is the time to act."
Deese also noted that the need to pass a new package comes as Congress is already burdened with a number of other issues, including the confirmation of Biden's cabinet and the impeachment trial of current President Donald Trump.
"We do have multiple crises, we have a lot of pressing business facing the country. So certainly we understand and expect that the Senate is going to act on its constitutional duty," Deese said. "There is precedent."
The incoming administration's proposed package aims to give another round of direct payments to individuals and families following the $1,200 and $600 checks that were already distributed. In addition, Biden's team plans to spend more on testing and vaccination programs and expand unemployment benefits.
However, while the aforementioned parts of the package will face less of an issue in finding support across the aisle, other aspects of the bill have already received criticism from conservative lawmakers. These include the call for a $15 federal minimum wage and an increase in both taxes and regulations.
The former vice-president will need at least 10 Republican senators to successfully pass his proposed stimulus. Deese said that he expects the bill will receive support despite facing criticism from conservative members.
For example, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has already attacked the plan, claiming that it is "a colossal waste and economically harmful."
"The ink on December's $1 trillion aid bill is barely dry and much of the money is not yet spent," Toomey said.
The Pennsylvania lawmaker specifically cited the increase in minimum wage as an issue, stating that it would only worsen unemployment.
"If the federal government mandates a universal $15 minimum wage, many low-income Americans will lose their current jobs," he warned, per ABC affiliate 27 News.
Toomey added that he believed federal spending should be used on vaccinating the public as quickly as possible so that the lockdowns could come to an end.
The senator is not alone in expressing worries about the mammoth debt incurred by the federal government. A billionaire investor has warned that it could potentially lead to trouble on the stock market, per The Inquisitr.