Republican Senators Offering New COVID-19 Relief Package
Dear Commons Community,
In the first sign of bipartisanship in a long time, President Joe Biden will meet with a group of 10 Republican senators today to hear their proposal for a COVID-19 relief package that could be a significantly smaller, but bipartisan effort to support Americans during the ongoing pandemic.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said late yesterday that Biden had invited Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and her colleagues “for a full exchange of views” after the lawmakers sent a letter to Biden outlining a rebuttal to his $1.9 trillion proposal for additional relief.
Biden’s plan includes $1,400 relief checks for many Americans and a large expansion of unemployment benefits. In their letter, the Republicans countered with a package that would be 70% smaller ― although they said it could quickly pass through Congress. The plan includes $1,000 checks for most Americans and additional funds for vaccines and testing.
“In the spirit of bipartisanship and unity, we have developed a COVID-19 relief framework that builds on prior COVID assistance laws, all of which passed with bipartisan support,” the group, which includes Sens. Collins, Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Mitt Romney (Utah). “Our proposal reflects many of your stated priorities, and with your support, we believe that this plan could be approved quickly by Congress with bipartisan support.”
Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Todd Young of Indiana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Thom Tillis of North Carolina also signed the letter.
Collins quickly thanked Biden for his response and said she looked forward to discussing the “path forward”.
Psaki suggested that the White House would continue to push for a large relief package, saying renewed support was “badly needed” by small businesses and families across the nation.
“With the virus posing a grave threat to the country, and economic conditions grim for so many, the need for action is urgent, and the scale of what must be done is large,” Psaki said in a statement. “As leading economists have said, the danger now is not in doing too much: it is in doing too little. Americans of both parties are looking to their leaders to meet the moment.”
A sign of hope that our political parties can work together!