Mitch McConnell rejects bipartisan $ 900 billion coronavirus stimulus plan
Earlier, there were reports that the administration could take a phased approach to speed up the initiative through the Senate.
The White House on Thursday denied media reports that President Joe Biden’s administration could split its proposal for economic aid over the coronavirus into two bills so that a party-divided Senate would take the initiative faster..
Fighting the pandemic, which claimed about 430,000 US lives and left millions of people unemployed, became a priority for the administration in the first week of Biden’s presidency. But Republicans and some Democrats are opposed to his $ 1.9 trillion proposal on top of the $ 4 trillion set aside last year..
With Senate seats evenly split in the election, there were rumors that the White House could choose a phased strategy, starting with a small aid package that would get enough Republican support to win the required 60-vote majority in the Senate.
Politico reported that the administration is considering a $ 600 billion to $ 800 billion bill that includes cut funding for vaccine distribution, unemployment benefits and food aid, and direct payments to those in need..
Democrats also plan to use a parliamentary procedure called “reconciliation” that would allow them to take the initiative with a simple majority in the Senate, without Republican support. In the event that the votes are equally distributed, the casting vote remains with Vice President Kamala Harris.
However, on Thursday, two senior White House officials denied the split-off idea..
“The needs of the American people cannot be divided into parts; we can’t do it piece by piece, “White House economic adviser Brian Deese, who has been in talks with a bipartisan group of legislators in the Senate and House of Representatives, tweeted..
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki emphasized that the issue of aid to victims of the pandemic is non-partisan..
“The American people are in dire need – for food, vaccines, and schools. These are not party issues, ”she tweeted. “We’re not going to split the package in two.”
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