Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) indicated Democrats are on the same page regarding the size of the next COVID-19 relief package.
“There’s agreement, universal agreement we must go big and bold … We hope our Republican colleagues will join us … We want to do it bipartisan, but we must be strong. We cannot dawdle, we cannot delay, we cannot dilute,” Schumer said after meeting with President Joe Biden.
Sen Schumer after meeting w/ Pres Biden says at WH: "There's agreement, universal agreement we must go big and bold … We hope our Republican colleagues will join us … We want to do it bipartisan, but we must be strong. We cannot dawdle, we cannot delay, we cannot dilute."— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) February 3, 2021
Biden told a group of Senate Republicans during a meeting on Tuesday he would not be willing to accept “a package that fails to meet the moment,” as IJR reported.
The Republicans Biden met with are proposing a relief bill approximately one third the size of Biden’s.
During a conference call with House Democrats on Wednesday, Biden stressed he would stick to his plan to include $1,400 checks for Americans in the next relief plan, as IJR reported.
“We did have a conversation about the direct payments and how those might be modified in a way to ensure they’re targeted,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said.
He continued, “But President Biden was clear with us and with our caucus yesterday, he’s not going to forget the middle class, he’s not going to walk back from a real commitment.”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) told reporters Biden made it clear it is important to “ensure that we keep the promise” on sending Americans $1,400 checks.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the move by Democrats to use budget reconciliation to pass the next package a “partisan jam.”
“The new president talks a lot about unity, but his White House staff and congressional leadership are working with a different playbook,” McConnell explained.
The Senate voted on Tuesday to open a debate on a spending measure giving them the ability to use reconciliation to advance Biden’s bill.