“We’re going to be providing good opportunities and jobs for people who, in fact, are going to be reinvesting that money back in all the things we’re talking about,” Mr. Biden said. “Driving down prices, not raising prices.”
The president did not give a direct answer to the owner of a restaurant chain who said he was having trouble hiring workers as the economy recovered.
Mr. Biden said that it was good that workers had the ability to search for new and better jobs, and that companies had to compete to hire them. He said he saw “no evidence” that expanded unemployment benefits, which were included in the $1.9 trillion stimulus package he signed into law in March, were deterring workers — but even if they were, he said, the benefits are set to end soon.
“I think it really is a matter of people deciding now that they have opportunities to do other things and there’s a shortage of employees, people are looking to make more money and to bargain,” Mr. Biden told the restaurant owner. “So I think your business and the tourist business is really going to be in a bind for a little while.”
While Mr. Biden was flying to the Kentucky airport that serves Cincinnati, senators voted Wednesday on a motion to advance the bipartisan infrastructure framework, which is not yet finalized nearly a month after Mr. Biden and centrist lawmakers unveiled it at the White House. The vote failed, leaving Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, to reserve the right to schedule another vote next week in hopes of moving the agreement forward.
Administration officials have engaged in negotiations with Republicans and Democrats in recent days to finalize the deal, including how to fully pay for its spending. Lawmakers indicated on Wednesday that they expect to reach final agreement in days.
Asked how long it will take to get the bipartisan deal done, Mr. Biden replied, “Till Monday.”
“I come from a tradition in the Senate, you shake your hand, that’s it. You keep your word,” Mr. Biden said. He predicted Republicans would do so. “I think it’s going to get done.”