President Biden needs to stand his ground and ram through his entire 1.9MM package without delay. I don’t trust the Republicans Gang of 10 for one second. I thank the Stars above that the Democrats are in the Majority in Congress. If Mitch and Friends were running the show there would be nothing on the table for the American public. It appears the Democrats have learned that there is no negotiation with the Republicans. Given the opportunity the Republicans will slow walk and talk to death any proposal not to their liking.
Wall Street Journal 1.31.2021
Gang of 10 proposal comes as Democratic lawmakers prepare to advance the president’s $1.9 trillion plan without Republican support
WASHINGTON—A group of Republican senators asked President Biden to work with them on a $600 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief effort as Democrats prepared to move forward on a $1.9 trillion package without GOP support.
In a letter Sunday, the 10 centrist Republican senators asked to meet with Mr. Biden to present details of their proposal and said they were coming forward in response to his appeal for bipartisanship.
“We have to be ready,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) told reporters last week. “We want it to be bipartisan always, but we can’t surrender if they’re not going to be doing that,” she said of Republicans.
Democrats will have to keep their own ranks aligned. They can afford no defections in the evenly split Senate and no more than four in the narrowly divided House on legislation if Republicans remain unified in opposition.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), who will help lead the reconciliation process as the top member of the Democratic caucus on the Senate Budget Committee, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that he is “absolutely confident” Democrats have the votes to go ahead, despite reservations voiced by some moderates.
Brian Deese, Mr. Biden’s top economic adviser, said Sunday the White House is reviewing the Republicans’ letter and is willing to discuss ways to make the relief package more effective.
Mr. Deese, responding to questions on two Sunday morning news shows, declined to say whether the $1.9 trillion spending level is negotiable and suggested that delaying relief would worsen the pandemic and its effects on the economy.
“If we don’t act now the cost of that is going to be greater going forward,” Mr. Deese said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The letter didn’t specify the cost of the proposal. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R., La.), one of the Republicans who signed the letter, said on “Fox News Sunday” that the proposal amounts to roughly $600 billion in spending. He also said it would match President Biden’s $160 billion allocation for increasing vaccinations and other efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.
The offer is the first Republicans have forwarded since Mr. Biden proposed the $1.9 trillion plan, which Republicans have said is too costly and includes unneeded initiatives, and tests whether the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress will seek compromise or try to pass the relief package themselves. Democratic leaders have said they plan to begin a legislative process that would bypass the need for Republican support this week, with the first step coming as soon as Monday.