- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 22, 2020

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Thursday said localities across the country, regardless of political persuasion, will start laying off public servants and scaling back services unless Congress acts to provide federal support.

He said he’s a proud Democrat but he doesn’t “see red states or blue states,” so Washington needs to step in and provide money to states and cities that are going bankrupt fighting the coronavirus.

Asked why he hasn’t gotten Democrats to agree to a stimulus package, Mr. Biden said the House leadership passed a comprehensive bill at the start of the summer.

“This is not new, it’s been out there,” Mr. Biden said at the final presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee.

President Trump said the House-passed bill amounted to a bailout for poorly run blue states, so it was unacceptable. He said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the main impediment to getting a bipartisan package across the finish line, as millions of Americans remain jobless and families slip into poverty.

“Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to approve it,” Mr. Trump said. “She’d love to have some victories on a date called Nov. 3.”

“We are ready, willing and able to do something,” the president said.

Mr. Biden said Senate Republicans are unwilling to spend money, so Mr. Trump ought to be on the phone with leaders of his own party if he wants a deal.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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