WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Despite a surprising surge in employment last month in the United States, President Joe Biden says there’s still a long road ahead and more needs to be done. That’s why his administration is re-upping its call on Congress to pass the president’s COVID aid bill.
“You can’t afford one step forward and two steps backward,” Biden said on Friday.
Hours earlier, the Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February, the most since October.
The news comes as vaccines go into more American arms and some states begin to lift COVID-19 restrictions. But the White House says there are still 9.5 million fewer jobs than there were this time last year.
“All those empty storefronts aren’t just shattered dreams. They’re warning lights,” Biden said.
President Biden is calling on Congress to pass the COVID aid package currently before the Senate where final passage is still uncertain as some Republicans and Democrats weigh their vote.
“What I hate the most is that we’re doing a partisan COVID bill for the first time as a nation,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said.
The South Carolina Republican and other GOP members said much of the nearly $2 trillion aid package takes the wrong approach.
“The bill, Mr. President, that you’re pushing has got more to do with a liberal wish list,” Sen. Graham said.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the president will be on the phone all weekend trying get Republicans on board. But Psaki added that the measure of the president’s success, “is getting this bill passed and relief to American people.”