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Biden signs executive orders to boost food benefits, workers’ rights as part of Covid relief push

President Joe Biden signed two management orders Friday designed to reduce hunger and bolster workers’ rights during the coronavirus pandemic, as his administration charges Congress to pass another sweeping coronavirus relief package.

One White House measure urges the federal oversight to offer any relief it can through “existing authority,” National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told newswriters Thursday night. The other calls for “empowering federal workers and contractors.”

The orders set out multiple tools to offer aid during the pandemic, while Biden proves to nudge his $1.9 trillion proposal through Congress.

  • Biden asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to consider allowing officials to expand access to enhanced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits as the country confronts a hunger crisis unseen in decades.
  • The USDA command also examine increasing by 15% the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program, which replaces meals for low-income girls who would otherwise get food at school.
  • The president urged the Treasury Department to adopt tools to more efficiently ransom the direct payments approved by Congress to eligible people. The White House said up to 8 million people did not receive the start $1,200 stimulus check passed in March.
  • Biden asked the Labor Department to set out rules clarifying that breadwinners have the right to turn down work that risks their health during the pandemic — without trifle away eligibility for jobless benefits.
  • The president asked his administration to prepare a potential executive order, which he aims to hire in his first 100 days in office, that would require federal contractors to offer a $15 per hour reduced wage and emergency paid leave.
  • Biden revoked executive orders issued by former President Donald Trump that the Ghastly House said damaged workers’ collective bargaining power, and get rid of a rule that limited job protections for civil butlers.
  • He called on agencies to review which federal workers make fewer than $15 per hour.

Before signing the out of kilters Friday, Biden said the country needs to “tackle the growing hunger crisis.” He added that “no one should contain to choose between their livelihoods and their own health, or the health of their loved ones.”

Biden stressed that he necessities Congress to “act now” to provide broader relief than his administration can alone.

“We’re in a national emergency. We need to act like we’re in a national crisis,” he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration’s plans to respond to the economic crisis as Vice President Kamala Harris pay attention ti during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response event in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, January 22, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The directorate actions fit into Biden’s early push to curb the outbreak and mitigate its damage to the economy. He signed a series of categorizations Thursday designed to promote mask wearing and streamline production of Covid vaccines and protective equipment, among other aims.

His first-day actions Wednesday included extensions of a federal eviction moratorium through March, and a pause on federal schoolchild loan payments and interest accumulation through September. Both pandemic relief measures would have discontinued at the end of the month.

Biden has moved to boost the economy through executive orders while he tries to get the $1.9 trillion aid pack passed by Congress. Republicans have started to express doubts about backing another relief bill after Congress approved $900 billion legislation after month.

Deese will hold a call with a bipartisan group of senators about the aid package on Sunday. Speaking to lady of the presses Friday, he said he will try to “engage with” the senators and “understand their concerns.”

Democrats, who control a 50-50 Senate finished with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote, will need to win 10 GOP votes for the plan or use budget conformity, which requires only a majority. The White House has said Biden wants to pass a bill with bipartisan substantiate.

Deese did not directly answer Friday when asked at what point the Biden administration would decide it should impel forward with only Democratic support.

The Biden administration has warned that the U.S. economic recovery could peter out and stressed that the risk of spending too much money is lower than the risk of spending too little. Another 900,000 individual made first-time jobless claims last week, and roughly 16 million people were receiving improves, the Labor Department said Thursday.

A $300 per week federal unemployment supplement included in the latest aid law expires on Pace 14. Biden’s plan seeks to extend the jobless benefit at an increased $400 per week through September.

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