Bipartisanship has its limits, particularly when it comes to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. President Joe Biden invited a group of 10 Republican lawmakers to meet Monday to discuss proposed legislation for pandemic relief.
Republican lawmakers are using bipartisanship to spin attempts to low ball pandemic relief. Led by Sen. Susan Collins, the group of legislators proposed a $600 billion relief package, representing only a fraction of the recovery plan proposed by Biden during his first week.
Reduced direct stimulus payments from $1,400 to $1,000 were among the few details released by Republican lawmakers. Under the Collins-led proposal, payments would only be made to individuals earning $40,000 or less, $80,000 for couples.
Biden has indicated one area he would be willing to compromise would be in the upper-income limits for those receiving stimulus relief payments. The White House indicated it would be open to capping stimulus payments to families making no more than $150,000.
Overall, Biden’s plan would address a wide range of issues related to the pandemic including extending pandemic unemployment benefits and housing assistance. Echoing concerns raised by Democratic lawmakers last spring, Biden proposed a set of measures to address persisting economic inequality. Some experts estimate that the poverty rate of hard-hit communities could be reduced by one-third.
The focus on this group of 10 Republican lawmakers takes shape as Senate Democrats grapple with how to move forward on their legislative agenda with the filibuster in place. As it currently stands, it is 60 votes to overcome any potential opposition.
Needing to build a winning coalition to pass legislation does not mean people should be given less than they need to not only survive but thrive. With close to 450,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, the president wants to have space for both sides of the aisle to be heard but remains focused on getting relief to those in need.
Republican West Virginia governor and billionaire Jim Justice caught many by surprise when he weighed in Monday, saying that fiscal responsibility is not more important than providing help to people in need.
Congressional Democrats are prepared to move forward without Republican cooperation. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, has said there are enough votes to pass the plan through the budget reconciliation process. Budget reconciliation would only require a simple majority.
Progressive members of Congress, like Rep. Ayanna Pressley, continue to remind their colleagues that families are struggling and children are going to bed hungry. The longer they delay, the longer American families go without needed support.
Making 'Herstory': From DA To DC, Kamala Harris' Amazing Rise Through The Democratic Ranks
1. 2010: Candidate For Calif. Attorney GeneralSource:Getty 1 of 21
2. 2010: Kamala Harris Wins California AG ElectionSource:Getty 2 of 21
3. 2016: Kamala Harris Becomes A U.S. SenatorSource:Getty 3 of 21
4. 2017: Opposing Jeff Sessions' Nomination To Be U.S. AGSource:Getty 4 of 21
5. 2018: Kamala Harris Hints She's Running For PresidentSource:Getty 5 of 21
6. 2018: Introduces Bill To Legalize MarijuanaSource:Getty 6 of 21
7. 2018: Introduces Bill Addressing Black Maternal HealthSource:Getty 7 of 21
8. 2018: Senate Votes To Outlaw Lynching For The First Time In HistorySource:Getty 8 of 21
9. 2019: Harris Launches Her Presidential CampaignSource:Getty 9 of 21
10. 2019: Kamala Harris Wins 2nd Democratic DebateSource:Getty 10 of 21
11. 2019: Kamala Harris Annihilates Meghan McCain ON Live TV11 of 21
12. 2019: Kamala Harris Compares Trump To ‘A Really Small Dude’Source:Getty 12 of 21
13. 2019: Kamala Harris Suspends Presidential CampaignSource:Getty 13 of 21
14. 2020: Kamala Harris Focuses On Trump's Impeachment TrialSource:Getty 14 of 21
15. 2020: Kamala Harris Endorses Joe Biden For PresidentSource:Getty 15 of 21
16. 2020: Joe Biden Picks Kamala Harris To Be His VP Running Mate16 of 21
17. 2020: Kamala Harris Accepts Democratic VP NominationSource:Getty 17 of 21
18. 2020: Kamala Harris Debates Mike PenceSource:Getty 18 of 21
19. 2020: Kamala Harris Calls Out Amy Coney Barrett During SCOTUS Confirmation Hearing19 of 21
20. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Win The 2020 ElectionSource:Getty 20 of 21
21. 2021: Kamala Harris Is Sworn In To Become First Black U.S. Vice PresidentSource:Getty 21 of 21
COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Talks Show The Limits Of ‘Bipartisanship’ was originally published on newsone.com