Sen. Sanders: Dems have votes to pass partisan COVID-19 relief

Ruben Fields
February 1, 2021

President Joe Biden's continued focus on a climate change agenda, raising the federal minimum wage, and opening up the borders amid a coronavirus pandemic is a misappropriation, according to Trump economist Stephen Moore.

Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from ME, said on Twitter that she had joined the group, which asked the president in a letter Friday for a meeting to discuss their plan.

Almost 440,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, and although the rates of new infections and deaths are easing, epidemiologists warn that new virus variants could quickly offset any progress.

Yael Halon is a reporter for Fox News. The plan's size is less than a third of the $1.9 trillion plan envisioned by Biden and most Democratic leaders in Congress. Rob Portman, who also signed the letter.

"We all want bipartisanship and I think you're gonna see more of it as we move down the pike", he said, "We all look forward to working with Republicans".

Brian Deese, the top White House economic adviser who is leading the administration's outreach to Congress, said earlier Sunday that administration officials were reviewing the letter.

"That's certainly a place where we're willing to sit down and look at ways to make the entire package more effective", Mr Deese said in response to a question about making the stimulus check programme more targeted. But Deese emphasized that speed was of the essence.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, told ABC News on Sunday he believes the Senate has the votes to pass Mr Biden's $1.9trn bill, which, in its current form, sends $1,400 stimulus checks to most Americans taxpayers and provides an emergency injection of billions of dollars for state and local governments on the front lines of the pandemic.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday that Biden had spoken with the leader of the group, Sen. Susan Collins of ME, described their plan as building on prior coronavirus relief measures that passed with bipartisan backing. Susan Collins of ME, comes as many Democrats look to a process called budget reconciliation to pass Biden's relief package, something that would enable Democrats to approve the president's plan without any Republican support.

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With the Senate split 50-50 and Vice-President Kamala Harris wielding the tie-breaking vote, Democrats are considering using a parliamentary tool called "reconciliation" that would let the chamber approve the legislation with a simple majority.

Their proposal came after Biden said he's open to passing portions of his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal via reconciliation if Republicans reject the measure.

During an interview on Sunday, Sanders said he can not imagine any Democrat who doesn't understand the need to go forward in an aggressive way.

"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.

The emptiness of this proposal waspersonified on the airwaves Sunday by two of the 10 proposers: Sen.

An aide close to the process told CNN the plan is expected to be between $500-$600 billion, though lawmakers are still waiting to hear from the Congressional Budget Office on the estimated cost. Cassidy pointed to vaccination rollout funding as one point of agreement, and said there were others as well.

Cassidy claimed that Biden did not even try to work with his bipartisan group of senators.

"Our money goes to that income level where we know it will stimulate the economy, and theoretically, that's what they actually want", he explained. Democratic and Republican lawmakers are far apart in their proposals for assistance.

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