Stuck in DC, Biden team pitches rest of US on big virus aid

President Joe Biden told House Democrats he views the proposal for $1,400 in direct payments as a foundational promise to voters. Other relief issues may be flexible.

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February 4, 2021 - 9:19 AM

Photo by (Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even as President Joe Biden gathers with senators and works the phones with Capitol Hill to push for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, his team is increasingly focused on selling the plan directly to voters.

His administration has done 60-plus interviews with national TV and radio shows. There have been spots on local TV news and briefings last week with more than 50 groups including General Motors, Meals on Wheels America and Planned Parenthood. One of the main goals is to stop people from getting bogged down in the tangle of partisan deal-making and convince them that every penny of the “go big” package is needed.

“The public is not getting caught up in process — what they want is results,” said Cedric Richmond, the White House director of public engagement. “People these days are not worried about the inside-the-beltway terminology. They’re looking at who’s doing what to help.”

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