Transcript for President Biden discusses economic crisis
Yesterday we learned that 900000. More Americans filed for unemployment. 900000. They join millions of Americans who through no fault of their own. Have lost the dignity respect that comes with the job and a paycheck. So many of them never thought they'd ever be out of work in the first place. Just like my dad Dave Moore and he was used to lie awake at night. When I was a kid Stearns assuming on endlessly because he worried about organized bouts loses health care. Where there were going to be there have the money to pay the mortgage because of the economic circumstances here. And now. A lot of these folks are facing evictions. We're waiting hours in their cars. Literally hours. Your cars. Waiting to Kendall featured shall lose a driver of the food back. She United States of America. They were you feed your kids. Folks sure people still keep your job many have seen their paychecks reduced and then they are barely hanging on. And wondering what's next. Sometimes anxiety about what's gonna happen next is more consequence of what actually happened. But this is happening today in America. This cannot be who we are as a country these are not the values of our nation. We can not. Will not let people go hungry. We cannot let people be evicted because of nothing they did themselves. They cannot watch people lose their jobs and we have to act. We have to act now. It's not just to meet the moral obligation to treat our fellow Americans have been dignity respect they deserve this is an economic compared. A growing economic consensus that we must act decisively and boldly. To grow the economy for all Americans not just for tomorrow but in the future. Fears are growing chorus of top economic top economists that agree. Dad and this moment of crisis. When this committee interest rates as low as they are historic close it is Smart. Fiscal investment including deficit spending. And there are more urgent than ever. You know it's been that return on these investments in jobs and racial could is gonna prevent long term economic damage and benefits adjourn a far surpassed the cost of we don't act. The rest of the world is not standing still in terms of the competitive advantage of the competitive possibilities relative us. And our debt situation will be more stable on not less stable according these economists and that's such investments and our people's going to strengthen our economic competitiveness. As a nation can help us out compete our compound competitors in the global economy. Because we're gonna grow the economy that these investments. Article in nineteen package that passed in December was the first step as I said at that time is just a down payment. We need more action or and we need to move fast. Last week I laid out a two step plan. Of rescue and recovery. To get through the crisis. And to a better stronger and more secure America. The first step of our American rescue plan. Is a plan to tackle the pandemic can get direct financial relief to Americans who need it the most. You know. Just a few days it's just just been a few days since outlined his plan is received bipartisan support from majority of American mayors and governors. Businesses and labor organizations. Have together welcomed and as an urgent action is needed. Even Wall Street firms have underscored its importance. In fact in an analysis by Moody's estimates that if we pass our American rescue plan. The economy would create a seven point five million jobs just in this year alone. That would be on the way to the more than eighteen million and he's 181600000. Jobs. That they believe withdrew created over the four year period where there are build back better recovery plan. With our American rescue plan our economy would return to full employment. Full gear faster than without the plan. Even presses a child support president chumps now not some liberal organization comprises troops. Top former. Economic advisor Kevin has since said quote he absolutely is in favor of this rescue plan. This almost doesn't have a partisan piece to it. We're seeing the support because this plan takes a step that we so urgently needs and more than just a step number steps. It's funds big parts of the code ninety national strategy in Iraq released yesterday we released yesterday. Our national strategy put John toss on a war fully. To aggressively speed up our Covert nineteen response especially on vaccines and testy and reopen in our schools. I find it fascinating India yesterday the press asked the question is you know hundred million enough. We before there's invite you crazy you can't to a hundred million men women and a hundred days. Well we're and hope god will they not only do a hundred million we're gonna do more than. But this is we have to do this we have to move. Director rescue plan also includes economic relief for most Americans worry me. We're gonna finish the job of getting in total of 2000 dollars in direct payments to folks 600 dollars which is already pass is simply not enough. If you still have to choose between paying your rent putting food on the table. Will extend unemployment insurance benefits for millions of workers beyond the deadline is now said it means that sixteen million Americans. For currently relying on unemployment benefits while they look for work can count on these checks continuing to be there in the middle of this crisis. The American rescue plan also addresses the growing housing crisis America. Approximately fourteen million Americans fourteen million. Have fallen behind on rent and many in risk eviction. If we fail to act. There will be a wave of evictions and foreclosures in the coming months. Com as this pandemic rages on figures are not doing your duty changed its rejection of transgenic the next several months. So look. This should overwhelm emergency shelters increased Covert nineteen infections as people that could have nowhere to go and are socially can't socially distance. The American rescue plan asked congress to provide rental assistance. For millions of hard hit families and attendance. This also be abridged economic recovery for countless mom and pop to landlords. Who can afford not to have. Direct. But they can't wait. So on inauguration day I directed my administration to extend nationwide. Restrictions on evictions and foreclosures. These crises are are sure are straining the budgets of states and cities and tribal communities. That are forced to consider layoffs and service reductions among essential workers police officers firefighters first responders. Nurses for all of the risk of losing their jobs. All over the last year more than 600000. Educators. Have lost their jobs in cities and towns. The American rescue plan would provide emergency funding to keep these essential workers on the job and maintain essential services. Look. It will also help small businesses that are the engines are economic growth. When you say small business most people think that major corporate and additional ones you've been hired by. These small businesses glues and hope and they're important but these solved as a whole the community that includes a whole these communities together. There hurting badly may account for nearly half of the entire. US workforce and we have. Our rescue plan were bribed flexible grants. Total heart assist small business survive the pandemic. And low cost capital to help monitor for Norris. Of all backgrounds. Created maintain jobs plus provide essential goods and services pick communities so desperately dependent. Our recovery plan also calls for an increase in the minimum wage and fifteen at least fifteen dollars an hour. Noted America should work forty hours a week. Making below. The poverty line. Fifteen dollars gets people above the poverty line. We have so many millions of people working forty hours a week working and some wood to jobs and are still below the. Our plan includes access to affordable child care pitch to enable parents particularly women to get back to work. Millions were not working out because they don't have that care. All told the American rescue plan would lift twelve million Americans out of poverty and cut child poverty in half. That's five million children lifted out of poverty. Our plan to reduce poverty in the black community by 13 and reduce poverty Hispanic community to almost 40%. I look forward. Two to working with members of congress from both partners to move quickly to get this American rescue plan to the American people. And then we can move with equal urgency and bipartisanship to the second step of our economic plan to build back better recovery plan. It's a plan is going to make historic investments in infrastructure. Manufacturing and innovation. Research and development. And clean energy is so much more that's gonna create millions more jobs. Good paying jobs not minimum wage jobs. Wallin work with members of both parties in the congress. There are steps that we kid and must take right now. For example on inauguration day I directed my administration to pause student loan repayments. 4 interest for America and in the interest figures for Americans with federal student loans until at least September. So they're not gonna have to pay till September they still pay the bill at the stands now. But it will not a quick trigger can accrue interest and they don't have to pay begin to pay until September. And we may have to look beyond that I might add today. I'm signing an executive order that directs the whole government. Whole government effort to help millions of Americans were badly hurting. Requires all federal agencies you do what they can do to provide relief to families small business and communities. And in the days ahead I expect agencies act. Let me touch on two ways these actions has helped change americans' lives. We need to tackle the growing hunger crisis in America. One in seven households in America wanted to step. More than one in five. Black and Latino households in America report they do not have enough food PE. That includes nearly thirty million adults and as many as twelve million children. And again in earnest this ship is that in this situation through no fault of their own. It's unconscionable. The American rescue plan provides additional emergency food and nutrition assistance for tens of millions of children families to address this crisis. The families literally can't wait another day. As a result of the executive order I'm gonna shortly signed. The Department of Agriculture will consider taking immediate steps. To make it easier for the hardest instruments to enroll in claimed more generous benefits in the critical food and nutrition assistance there. This can help tens of lose a family especially those who can't provide meals for their kids. According already remotely at home are not receiving the regular meal plans that they have a school for breakfast or lunch. It's come also we also need to protect the health and safety the American worker. Right now approximate 40% of households in America but at least one member with a preexisting conditions. Just imagine. Your out of work through no fault of their own. You follow up front employment law you're looking for jobs. You find more. Did you get an offer. But did you find out there's a higher risk if you're getting infection Covert ninety. Because you're condition. You and your loved one you and you and your loved ones. Have I have ever even greater risk of death and serious illness because of preexisting conditions. She turned down. Right now if you did that you could be denied unemployment insurance because you're offered a job didn't take it it's wrong. Don't you have to choose between their livelihoods and their own health or the health of their loved ones in the middle of a deadly pandemic. Because the the executive order I'm about to sign. I expect the Department of Labor to guarantee. The right to refuse an unemployment employment that would jeopardize your health and if you do so you'll still be able qualifier for the church as a judge of the Labor Department will make. Look are just so consequential ways. That the action I'm taking today will help people Monday. Another another way to help approximately. Two million veterans maintain their financial footing. Fire causing federal collections bond overpayments to debts. Another make sure that federal contractors. Hershey beat taxpayers' dollars. Provide their workers with the pay and benefits they deserved. These are places where federal tax dollars hard ministers are being made available. To build things from ships to staircases. And if we let out the federal government lets the contract. Andrea make sure that they buy American and are made in America. Here's another right now there are up to eight million people that are eligible for direct payments from the cares act and relief bill passed in December. Stern type of those payments but there's not an easy way for those folks to assess access to. So we're making it a priority today to fix that problem and get the relief they're entitled to. Look I'm gonna close and summarize this way. A lot of Americans hurt. The virus is Sergey. We're 400000. Dead expected him preach well over 600000. Families are going home. People are risk of being evict. Job losses are mounting again we need to act. No matter how you look at that we need to act if if we act now our economy will be stronger can both short and long. That's what economists left Brighton center telling us. Both liberal and conservative. Will be better stronger across the board if we acted. Will be better able to compete with the world. If we act and who better able to meet our moral obligations. To one another as Americans. I don't believe the people in this country. Just wanna stand by and watched their friends or neighbors coworkers fellow Americans go hungry lose their homes and loses her sense of dignity and hope and respect. I don't believe that especially in the middle of a pandemic. That's so we can do and Rex so much happening because so much pain on America. That's not who we are the bottom line is this. Work in the national emergency. We need to act like we're in a national emergency. So we've got to move. We've everything we've got we gotta do it together. I don't believe Democrats or Republicans. Are going hungry and losing jobs I believe Americans. Are going hungry and losing jobs. We have the tools to fix it. We have the tools to get through this we have the tools to gets his virus under control. And our economy back on track. We have the tools to help people. Who choose to tools. All used in the Summers sign this executive Norman let me conclude begin by saying. Folks this is one of the cases where. Business. Labor. Wall Street and main street. Liberal conservative economists know we have to act now not only to help people are indeed now. But to allow us to be in a competitive position worldwide and be the leader of the world economy. And next year to and three going forward. So thank you Herman signed this executive board. First want us. Need me to call in nineteen. Second when his protection. Protecting. For the work.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.