Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, seen here at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, is leading a group of Republican senators who have actually composed to President Biden with a demand to detail a COVID-19 rescue counterproposal.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, seen here at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, is leading a group of Republican senators who have composed to President Biden with a request to detail a COVID-19 rescue counterproposal.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
” We value the Presidents fast response to our letter, and we are delighted to accept his invitation to the White House tomorrow afternoon to discuss the course forward for the 6th bipartisan COVID-19 relief bundle,” the ten senators said in a declaration.
Ten Republican senators on Sunday requested a conference with President Biden to detail a smaller counterproposal to his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, an alternative they think might be authorized “quickly by Congress with bipartisan assistance.”
” We acknowledge your calls for unity and want to operate in great faith with your Administration to satisfy the health, financial, and societal challenges of the COVID crisis,” the GOP senators wrote in a letter dated Sunday.
That 10 Republicans who signed on is significant since thats the number that would be needed to combine with Senate Democrats 50-person caucus to reach the 60-vote, filibuster-proof limit to pass legislation under routine Senate guidelines.
In a declaration Sunday night, White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated Biden “spoke to Senator Collins, and invited her and other signers of the letter to come to the White House early today for a full exchange of views.”
In the letter Sunday, the senators note that earlier COVID-19 relief packages passed with bipartisan support and that their proposition consists of some components similar to those in Bidens strategy, consisting of designating $160 billion for vaccine advancement and circulation, screening and tracing, and personal protective equipment.
In its everyday scheduling guidance, the White House stated the conference would take place in the Oval Office at 5 p.m. Monday and would concentrate on how Bidens strategy “will deliver urgently required relief to working households and small companies, and speed up vaccinations and the resuming of schools.”
” Our proposal also includes economic relief for those Americans with the best requirement, offering more targeted help than in the Administrations plan,” the letter checks out. “We propose an extra round of financial impact payments for those families who require help the most, including their reliant kids and adults.”
The lawmakers say their strategy also includes extending enhanced federal welfare and releasing additional resources to help small companies.
Republicans have balked at the price of Bidens $1.9 trillion package, especially coming weeks after then-President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion relief measure into law. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who also signed the letter, informed Fox News Sunday that the counterproposal would cost about $600 billion.
The letter was likewise signed by Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Todd Young of Indiana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Mitt Romney of Utah and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.
Notably, the letter does not discuss state and regional help, which was a key sticking point in previous rounds of relief negotiations. Bidens package includes $350 billion in emergency financing for state and city governments.
” Were definitely open to input from anywhere where we can discover a constructive idea to make this bundle as reliable as possible, but the president is uncompromising when it pertains to the speed that we require to act at to resolve this crisis,” Brian Deese, Bidens top economic advisor, told CNNs State of the Union Sunday.
On Friday, Biden himself told reporters at the White House: “I support passing COVID relief with support from Republicans if we can get it. The COVID relief has to pass.”
Updated at 5:10 a.m. ET on Monday
The outreach from more moderate GOP lawmakers, led by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, came as many Democrats want to a procedure called spending plan reconciliation, which would potentially allow Democrats to approve the presidents plan with no Republican support.
Democrats prepare for spending plan reconciliation
NPRs Kelsey Snell contributed to this report.
” But if our Republican coworkers choose to oppose this urgent and needed legislation,” Schumer stated, “we will have to move on without them.”
The GOP senators plan to detail their counterproposal on Monday, the very same day House Democrats are anticipated to introduce a budget resolution that will prepare for going through a reconciliation process.
The 2nd alternative for Democrats is to use reconciliation, a process that has been used for the Affordable Care Act and the GOP tax cuts Trump signed into law. The process can be lengthy– and made complex– but would enable Senate Democrats to pass legislation with a simple bulk vote without eliminating the filibuster.
” By the end of the week, we will be completed with the budget resolution, which will be about reconciliation, if required,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told press reporters recently. “I hope we dont need it. But if we require it, we will have it.”
He added “we need to not repeat the very same mistake” of 12 years ago when Democrats accepted a stimulus many thought about too small in order to acquire Republican assistance.
With the thinnest possible majority in the Senate, Democrats have essentially 2 alternatives to try to pass Bidens coronavirus relief plan without bipartisan support.
” The risks of undershooting our reaction are far greater than overshooting it,” Schumer stated. “We ought to have found out the lesson, from 2008 and 2009, when Congress was too shy and constrained in its response to the international monetary crisis and it took years– years– for the economy to leave economic downturn.”
But Senate Republicans have actually alerted that utilizing this procedure to avoid needing to amass their votes could be harmful.
Individually, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York stated on Thursday that Democrats “preference” is for the relief efforts to be bipartisan.
Sen. Portman, who signed the letter to the White House, just recently warned the Biden administration and congressional Democrats against moving forward on the new round of relief legislation without GOP assistance, saying doing so “toxins the well.”
The first would be to eliminate the legal filibuster, but at least 2 Democratic senators have actually pledged to oppose such a transfer to blow up the rules of the upper chamber.
” My hope is that we will not decrease this course of attempting to prevent the supermajority and simply jam something through,” Portman told NPRs Susan Davis. “I think that would set the tone for the administration that would be actually problematic for the nation and, honestly, bad for the Biden administration.”