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Biden Signals Support for Reconciliation as He Says COVID-19 Relief 'Has to Pass'

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President Joe Biden is seemingly willing to use budget reconciliation to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.

A reporter asked Biden on Friday if he supports passing relief using budget reconciliation.

“I support passing COVID relief with support from Republicans if we can get it. But, the COVID relief has to pass. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts,” Biden replied.

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The budget reconciliation process would only require a simple majority in the Senate instead of 60 votes to pass the bill.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during her press briefing on Thursday, Republicans can still vote for the bill even if Democrats choose to use budget reconciliation, as IJR reported.

“The president wants this to be a bipartisan package, regardless of the mechanisms. Republicans can still vote for a package even it goes through reconciliation,” she said.

Psaki continued, “There’s no blood-oath anybody signs. They’re able to support it regardless. And he wants this to be a bipartisan package. He’s listening to Democrats and Republicans, we all are, to ensure that that’s what it looks like at the end of the day.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) suggested Democrats will have to move ahead without Republicans if they decide to object to the bill, as IJR reported.

“Our preference is to make this important work bipartisan, to include input, ideas and revisions from our Republican colleagues,” he said.

Schumer continued, “But if our Republican colleagues decide to oppose this urgent and necessary legislation, we will have to move forward without them.”

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) slammed the bill and called it “a colossal waste and economically harmful.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told reporters “the whole package is a non-starter.”

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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) argued Biden’s announcement of the proposal was “not well-timed.”

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