WASHINGTON (WAVY) — In the first few hours of his term, President Joe Biden signed off on 17 executive orders.
“Our new president and this new Senate commenced the work of rebuilding our country and healing its wounds,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday.
Schumer says steps like rejoining the Paris climate accord and ending the travel ban from some Muslim majority countries, will help congress re-focus its efforts on the pandemic.
“A president who actually take the defining crisis of our time seriously,” Schumer said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Congressman Jim Himes (D-Conn.) say this is the perfect time for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to come together and help the country.
“Conquering the pandemic, and reviving the economy, getting stuff done, the American people want us to come together and make progress,” Blumenthal said.
“When it comes to COVID relief, restarting the economy and doing things like investing in our infrastructure, on that stuff, I’d like to believe that we ought to be able to get bipartisan deals done,” Himes said.
However, Republicans say the president’s immediate changes to climate change and immigration, take away from what matters.
“The new administration was more interested in helping illegal immigrants than helping our own citizens,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.
McCarthy says the president is prioritizing the wrong issues.
“Americans need our help at home, and that’s where our focus must remain. That means Congress needs to step up as well,” McCarthy said.
The House will be out next week, so further COVID-19 relief work will be on hold until February.