Biden, Yellen call Republican virus aid plan insufficient as Democrats push ahead

Clay Curtis
February 3, 2021

Theyve chosen a totally partisan path, McConnell said.

White House press security Jen Psaki defended that decision. She said the president was hopeful GOP ideas will be brought forward, and said nothing precludes Republicans from participating in the process. "[Biden's] view is that there are key components and funding that would be needed in order to ensure that millions and millions of people have checks in their hands, that we ensure people are getting those $1,400 checks".

White House officials have previously cited the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as evidence of broad support for their plan, but the nation's most prominent business group issued a letter Tuesday that urged a bipartisan compromise.

While the new President is keen on reversing some of Trump's immigration policies, he has been cautious on overhauling the whole system altogether in order to prevent a surge in illegal immigration to the US.

But from there, the two plans drastically diverge.

The parts of Biden's agenda that received the least support include halting construction on the border wall, which was supported by 45% of respondents but opposed by 42%, and ending the travel ban on those from Muslim-majority countries, which was supported by 42% of respondents but opposed by 35%. But that's a lower percentage than any other state, tied with MA. They proposed sending up to $1,000 stimulus checks to Americans and give those out of work an extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits.

The Republicans offer $40 billion for Paycheck Protection Program business aid. According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the president told Republicans he is willing to make changes, yet the final package has to get the country through the pandemic.

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"In addition, this package has a mandatory federal minimum wage raise to $15".

But both Biden and Yellen recalled the lessons of the government response to the 2009 financial crisis, which some have since said was inadequate as conditions worsened.

The measure would allow Democrats to bypass a 60-vote threshold in the closely divided Senate and enact coronavirus legislation with a simple majority through a procedure called reconciliation. In the Senate, all 50 Democrats voted to proceed to the budget resolution necessary to reconciliation, overcoming 49 Republican votes with one GOP absence, and the House approved a procedural step later Tuesday.

"We're going to make this work in a bipartisan way, my friends on the other side are going to have input and we're going to do something that we agree on", Manchin told Fox News' Bret Baier on Tuesday night. Vice President Kamala Harris is the tie-breaker.

The Senate is expected to vote on the final deal later Wednesday that would officially transfer the leadership gavels for Senate committees from Republicans to Democrats.

The White House and Democratic leaders have said starting reconciliation doesn't rule out bipartisan support or passing a potential deal through the standard legislative process. The House is poised to launch a similar process.

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