President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are meeting Tuesday with a handful of top U.S. chief executives to discuss the proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan, as Democrats aim to rush the proposal through Congress.
JPMorgan Chase’s JPM, -0.40% Jamie Dimon, Walmart’s WMT, +0.55% Doug McMillon, Gap’s GPS, -1.62% Sonia Syngal, Marvin Ellison of Lowe’s LOW, -0.78% and Tom Donohue, the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are in the meeting, along with Vice President Kamala Harris.
In brief remarks in the Oval Office, Biden said the U.S. needs to move quickly on both combatting the coronavirus and rebuilding the economy, and that he wanted to hear the leaders’ thoughts about “how they think I’m approaching this issue, and to see if we can find some common ground.”
Biden’s proposal, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, would give $1,400 direct payments to lower income individuals; $350 billion for state and local governments; and $70 billion for vaccines and testing; among other items.
Congressional Democrats have begun piecing together a package of the same size that largely follows Biden’s plan. Democratic leaders are hoping to get legislation to Biden by the middle of March, when emergency unemployment benefits are due to expire.