President-elect Joe Biden outlined the priorities of his future administration on Tuesday, promising to unite Congress to address major challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think with Donald Trump not in the way, that will also enhance the prospect of things getting done,” Biden said at a press conference on Tuesday, suggesting that Republicans would be more willing to deal with him after he took office.
Biden pointedly noted that he would take the opposite political tone that Trump did while trying to force Congress to pass important legislation.
“You have a different team in town,” he said. “I’m not going to villainize the opposition, but I’m going to stand and say ‘This is what we’ve got to do,’” Biden said, adding that Republicans would understand the need to act quickly.
“They know me,” he continued. “They know I level with them. They know I never mislead. They know I tell them the truth, and they know I don’t go out of my way to try to embarrass.”
Biden shrugged off the idea that there would be a “honeymoon” relationship with Congress at the beginning of his administration, posting to the “nightmare” that Americans were suffering during the pandemic.
“I don’t think it’s a honeymoon at all, I think it’s a nightmare that everybody is going through and they all say it’s gotta end,” he said.
Biden said he expected Congress to produce another spending package to get the vaccines distributed to all Americans and for all the unemployed to get economic relief. He also cited the need for direct payments for Americans, a moratorium on rental evictions and mortgage payments for people who were out of work, and enough personal protection equipment and direct payments to small businesses to keep them running. He also cited the need to invest heavily in infrastructure to rebuild the economy after the pandemic.
The president-elect said that the seriousness of the pandemic and the economic catastrophe that followed would force Democrats and Republicans to work together.
“I think the dawn has broken on the vast majority of people,” he said.