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Schumer Says Democrats Agree 'We Must Go Big and Bold' on COVID-19 Relief

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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.

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.

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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.

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