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Politics live updates: Senate clears way to pass COVID relief, Biden to speak on economy

President Joe Biden hosted Democratic leaders in the Oval Office Friday as his administration presses Congress to pass his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 r

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President Joe Biden hosted Democratic leaders in the Oval Office Friday as his administration presses Congress to pass his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Signs of the ongoing stress on the economy from the pandemic were evident in the latest employment report, which showed that employers added a meager 49,000 jobs in January.

Biden noted that the jobs report indicated that just 6,000 jobs had been created in the private sector. “At that rate, it’s going to take 10 years before we get to full unemployment,” he said. “That’s not hyperbole. That’s a fact.”

“We’re going to be in a situation where it takes a long, long time,” he told reporters.

The Oval Office meeting came just hours after the Senate set the stage for passage of the package, possibly by the end of the month..

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