The letter is a clear attempt to undermine democratic efforts to get a budget vote as a route to the next round of coronavirus relief. This week, Democrats in both houses plan to pass budgetary decisions that will allow the party to approve Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus plan without GOP votes.
Still, this path has little room for error: all 50 Senate Democrats would have to be on board, and the leaders of the House could afford only a few overflows. And Republicans in a bipartisan negotiating group have urged Biden to suppress efforts to move forward without them, even though Democrats are skeptical that they will ever come on board with the grand spending plan they believe is necessary to revitalize the economy.
Republican senators will release more details of their plan on Monday, according to a Republican aide. Sunday’s letter indicated that unemployment benefits, which expired in March, would be extended, Biden’s application for food aid would be met and a new round of payments would be sent to “those families in need of help most, including their dependent children and adults” . It will also look at childcare, small business aid and school funding.
Republicans and some Democrats have complained that high earners would be eligible for the next round of $ 1,400 in payments. And no Republicans have given even tepid support for Biden’s spending figure of $ 1.9 trillion. This has led spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to say that if Republicans are an obstacle to their plan, they will move forward.
Alongside Collins, the letter was signed by GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, Mitt Romney from Utah, Rob Portman from Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia, Todd Young from Indiana, Jerry Moran from Kansas, Thom Tillis from North Carolina and Mike Rounds from South Dakota. They say if Biden is ready to hear them, Congress doesn’t need to pass partisan coronavirus law.
“In 2020, members of the House and Senate, as well as the previous government, met five times in a non-partisan manner,” they wrote on Sunday. “We believe that with your support, Congress can once again create a relief package that will provide meaningful and effective relief to the American people and get us on the road to recovery.”