Biden Should Use Executive Orders for Covid Relief, Clyburn Says

Jim Clyburn
Jim Clyburn (Andrew Harrer/)

(Bloomberg) — Democratic Representative Jim Clyburn said President Joe Biden should continue to using his executive authority where he can to provide economic relief while Congress works through broader legislation to deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think he must continue to sign executive orders if the recalcitrance continues over in the Senate,” Clyburn, a member of House Democratic leadership, said Thursday in an interview on Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power” program.

Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief proposal has drawn skepticism from some Republican lawmakers, who question whether another package is needed so soon after a $900 billion relief bill was passed last month. Biden’s top economic adviser, Brian Deese, is expected to meet with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the next few days to discuss the economic plan.

Clyburn said he wants to see Congress act on the next piece of relief legislation in a bipartisan way.

“This is a rescue plan, not a stimulus plan at all. We are trying to rescue people’s lives,” he said. “My Republican friends need to look at this in the totality of what they are, not just one end of it.”

The 80-year-old representative from South Carolina has been a member of the House since 1993 and as majority whip is the chamber’s third-ranking Democrat. He gave Biden a major boost last year when he endorsed him for the party’s presidential nomination.

On the pending impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Clyburn said the Senate should have sessions throughout the day to be able to continue to work on Biden’s cabinet nominations and legislation at the same time.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House soon will send the article of impeachment to the Senate, triggering the start of a trial, but she hasn’t specified when. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and GOP leader Mitch McConnell still haven’t worked out how the 50-50 Senate will function.

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