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President Biden seized on January's anemic jobs report Friday to argue for his $1.9 trillion relief package, while also bracing the public for the long road to a full economic recovery and robust job growth.

The latest: Biden insisted in a speech from the White House that he would not be cutting the size of the $1,400 per person stimulus checks included in his proposal.

  • "That's what the American people were promised," the president said, though he added that the amounts could be adjusted according to income level to ensure they are targeted at "people who need it."
  • Biden also gave a clear indication that he would prioritize size and speed over bipartisanship, saying: "If I have to choose between getting help right now to Americans who are hurting so badly and getting bogged down in a lengthy negotiation ... that's an easy choice."

Driving the news: January's unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% in Trump's last month in office, but the economy gained just 49,000 jobs.

  • “Only 6,000 private sector jobs been created," Biden said. "At that rate it’s going to take 10 years before we get to full unemployment."
  • “That’s not hyperbole, that’s a fact," he added.

The big picture: Biden met with House Democrats Friday to strategize on how to pass his relief plan, which many Republicans — and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers — have criticized for being too big.

  • Biden appeared to directly address those arguments, saying: "President Obama put me in charge of the Recovery Act, and it was hard as hell to get the votes for it to begin with. And then it was hard as hell to get even the number we got. But one thing we learned is, you know, we can't do too much here. We can do too little."
  • "It's not just the macroeconomic impact on the economy and our ability to compete internationally," he added. "It's people's lives. Real live people are hurting, and we can fix it."

What to watch: After 15 hours of debate, the Senate voted 51-50 early Friday morning to approve the budget resolution that will be used as a vehicle for Biden's $1.9 trillion relief proposal — with Vice President Kamala Harris casting her first-ever tie-breaking vote.

  • Once the final resolution is passed by the House, lawmakers will get to work on writing the text of the package.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that she hopes to send the rescue package to the Senate within two weeks' time.

Go deeper: The Trump-COVID jobs legacy

Go deeper

Updated Feb 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Both chambers pass budget resolution, paving the way for Biden's relief plan

The House voted 219-209 on Friday afternoon to approve a budget resolution that will be used to facilitate passage of President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal.

Why it matters: Passing the stimulus package via the budget reconciliation process allows Democrats to sidestep the 60-vote threshold needed in the Senate to approve most major legislation.

The Trump-COVID jobs legacy

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Axios Visuals.

The last major economic datapoint of the Trump era is out.

Driving the news: The economy ended the Trump years with an unemployment rate of 6.3%. That's a lot lower than the pandemic-induced high point of 14.8% in April, but still well above the 4.7% unemployment that Barack Obama left behind.

Harris, Yellen to meet Black business leaders

Vice President Kamala Harris during a meeting with President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will meet virtually Friday with members from Black Chambers of Commerce across the country to push their COVID relief package and highlight its benefits for small businesses, Harris aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: The event gives more insight into what Harris' role is in the early stages of the new administration, which so far has focused on pushing the American Rescue Plan to small business owners and through local TV interviews in places like West Virginia and Arizona.