Citing the latest jobs report as fresh evidence of economic dislocation, President Biden pressed for the need to urgently inject the economy with his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.
“While we are grateful for everyone who found work and is earning a paycheck, it’s very clear our economy is still in trouble,” Mr. Biden said Friday, referring to the latest report out of the Labor Department that 49,000 jobs were added in January, including 6,000 in the private sector. The unemployment rate fell 6.3 percent.
“These aren’t Democrats or Republicans, they’re Americans. And they’re suffering,” he said. “They’re suffering not because of anything they did. Through no fault of their own, they’re suffering.”
In a significant step toward infusing funds into the pandemic-battered economy, the Senate passed a resolution before dawn on Friday that mostly mirrors Mr. Biden’s proposed stimulus package.
During a morning meeting in the Oval Office with Ms. Harris and House Democratic leaders and committee leaders who are helping to put together the stimulus legislation, the president said that the risk is doing too little to boost the economy.
The small gains last month followed December’s setback when the economy shed jobs for the first time since April. December’s loss, originally stated at 140,000, was revised on Friday to 227,000.
The release of the monthly jobs report capped a week in which Democrats continued to move ahead with plans to enact another far-reaching stimulus plan, the first major legislative undertaking of Mr. Biden’s presidency. The latest report is certain to affect the debate in Washington over further federal intervention.
After a 15-hour overnight voting session, the Senate advanced its version of the $1.9 trillion plan without any Republican support. Vice President Kamala Harris had to cast the tiebreaking vote, the first of what is likely to be many in the evenly divided Senate.
The blueprint advanced by the Senate largely reflects Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal, but without a measure that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Lawmakers also left in Mr. Biden’s plan to send as much as $1,400 in direct checks to Americans. But Democrats and the administration are discussing phasing them out for higher-income Americans at a faster rate than the $600 payments that Congress approved in December, meaning that those earning more would get smaller checks.
Mr. Biden has proposed starting to phase out the payments for individuals earning $75,000 a year and couples earning $150,000 a year. Lawmakers have discussed reducing those thresholds to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for couples.
A group of Senate Republicans pitched a scaled-down relief package this week, but their $618 billion plan fell far short of what Mr. Biden is seeking.