U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal sees President-elect Joe Biden’s proposed economic stimulus plan as an effective way to help families in need and speed up the COVID-19 vaccinations.
“We can always do more, but that’s a very comprehensive plan that will help provide relief to the American people that is needed,” the Santa Barbara Democrat told the News-Press Friday outside the Santa Barbara Fraternal Order of Eagles. He was there to present a framed congressional certificate to Isabelle Gullo, co-founder and executive director of C.A.R.E.4Paws, to recognize the Santa Barbara County nonprofit’s work in helping pet owners in need. The News-Press reported on that award in Saturday’s edition.
After the award ceremony, Rep. Carbajal told the News-Press that Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan will add another $1,400 in stimulus payments to Americans and provide relief for people facing food insecurity and unemployment. Those payments would be in addition to the recent $600 payments sent to Americans.
The congressman also noted, “This is an opportunity to provide support for our schools so they can open sooner rather than later in a safe way and provide communities throughout the country the resources they need to stay afloat.”
Rep. Carbajal said he expects the president-elect’s plan will pass quickly in Congress because as of Wednesday, Democrats will control the House, the Senate and the White House.
The Senate now consists of 50 members caucusing with the Democrats and 50 Republicans.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will break the tie when she becomes the president of the Senate Wednesday, giving the Democrats control of the chamber.
But to advance his agenda, President-elect Biden will need some Republican support.
The Senate cloture rule requires 60 members to end debate on most topics and move to a vote.
Rep. Carbajal, meanwhile, told the News-Press Friday that President-elect Biden’s plan will help with the distribution of vaccinations, which has been criticized as being too slow across the nation and in California.
“This new economic relief package has a lot of money included to make sure that we’re able to distribute vaccinations sooner rather than later and making sure we’re getting them to the American people ASAP, so we can be back to good health and opening up the economy again, which is greatly needed,” he said.
“We’re finally going to have a plan that’s been missing for the last year,” Rep. Carbajal said about distributing vaccines and curbing the pandemic.
“Now we’ll have the resources to implement the type of action plan we need to get us back to better health and a source of normalcy,” he said.
The News-Press asked the congressman about reopening businesses. He answered by stressing the importance of implementing robust COVID-19 testing, making vaccines widely available and carrying out plans that allow businesses to reopen in a safe and healthy manner.
Rep. Carbajal told reporters Friday that he would be at the inauguration Wednesday to see a peaceful transfer to power in a socially distanced manner.
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be inaugurated at noon Eastern time in Washington, D.C., which is being protected by more than 20,000 National Guard troops in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.