U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday he’s not budging on the $1,400 direct stimulus checks included in his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.
“It’s better economics,” Biden said of the relief package. “There’s a growing chorus of economists, right, center and left, that say we should be less focused on the deficit and more focused on the investment we make and can make now in jobs, keeping families out of poverty and preventing long-term economic damage to our nation.”
The announcement followed a jobs report that underperformed economist expectations, boosting the case for stimulus, which if enacted could result in more inflation in the U.S. later this year should the economy start running at full steam again. There were also reports the White House was considering reducing the size of the proposed stimulus package.
Biden’s comments also follow reports the White House has been consumed by a Washington Post op-ed written by Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers saying that Biden’s stimulus package may be too large, could overheat the economy and hurt future Democrat stimulus initiatives.
The op-ed came weeks after Summers and Harvard economist Jason Furman released a discussion paper that rejected austerity politics and promoted more spending. In the latest Federal Reserve press conference in January, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank would “welcome somewhat higher inflation.”