President Biden said reporters on Thursday that the COVID-19 relief-package will get approval with or without the support of congressional Republicans.
Biden stated that he would back passing it with GOP support when asked whether he supports Democrats’ calls to use a legislative process known as budget reconciliation to get additional stimulus package expedited through Congress. Moreover, he indicated that the relief has to pass at any cost.
On Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would bring a budget resolution to the house floor next week for President’s $1.9tn relief package. That was the first step in proceeding with a bill through the reconciliation progression.
The upper chamber will then vote to accept the resolution. Budget reconciliations require only a simple majority for approval instead of the sixty votes needed for most legislation. Democrats hold a majority in the House.
The Senate is even, but Democrats have a sufficient majority because Vice-President Kamala Harris has the tie-breaking vote.
But the $1.9tn resolution is unlikely to gather much GOP support, as several GOP legislators have already spoken concern over the large price tag. Moreover, Republican lawmakers ardently opposed increasing the previous volume allotted to individual stimulus checks, even after President Trump called on them to do.
The COVID-19 Relief had to Pass ‘without’ Republican Lawmakers
Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that she hopes they do not need it, but they will take it if required. They want it to be bipartisan at all times, but they cannot surrender.
Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) repeated Pelosi’s calls for a bipartisan bill but said it would be passed “without” Republican legislators if they oppose the legislation.
Democrats aim to make significant headway and pass a relief bill by mid-March because of an unemployment insurance cliff. The boosted federal unemployment benefits of $300 a week, approved in the latest package from December 2020, will expire on March 14.
On Thursday, Schumer said that their preference is to make this vital work bipartisan, including ideas and revisions from their GOP colleagues. But if GOP colleagues decide to oppose this urgent and needed legislation, they will have to step forward without them. Moreover, they are responsible for helping the US people fast, particularly given these new economic facts.
Last year, the legislators passed nearly six installments of COVID-19 relief that totaled almost $4tn even as partisan rancor consumed Congress. Four separate bills passed in quick succession in the early weeks of the epidemic, followed by several months of contentious on-again, off-again negotiations. The dry spell ended in December with the passage of $900 billion in coronavirus relief that gave the US $600 stimulus checks.
Democrats are concerned about moving quickly in Biden’s early days and passing requisite relief as the state grapples with nearly 26 million cases and a death toll nearing 435000 amid a slower-than-expected vaccine rollout.