Democrats moving forward with COVID relief, insist compromise is possible

'I'm not making new law. I'm eliminating bad policy': Biden defends high number of executive orders

Tom Carper, D-Del., left, listens as Sen.

Biden met with the Republicans to discuss the proposal at the White House on Monday night and has been meeting with Democratic legislators remotely and in the Oval Office throughout the week.

Pressed on whether the amount of state and local aid in the bill was up for negotiation, Psaki said the White House would welcome an offer from Senate Republicans, noting the plan from 10 GOP lawmakers included no additional state relief.

On the direct payments, Biden said he doesn't want to budge from the $1,400 promised to Americans. She pointed out that Biden's plan would offer significantly larger stimulus payments, and unemployment benefits that would last through the fall instead of expiring during the summer like under the GOP plan, among other differences. He made an emotional case for quick action, citing the alarming rate of suicides and worsening drug addictions amid the pandemic.

"I'm not going to start my administration by breaking a promise to the American people", Biden said on a call.

The swift action from Democrats on Capitol Hill underscores the urgency of delivering Biden's top legislative priority even as talks are progressing privately between Republicans and the White House, as well as with centrist Democrats, on potential changes to the package to win over broader bipartisan support.

Psaki said the income threshold for the $1,400 stimulus payments remains "under discussion" and had not been finalized. The president made it clear that he wont delay aid in hopes of winning GOP support. Already, the Biden team has been working with aides to Sen. Congress has passed almost $4 trillion in assistance since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Senate voted Tuesday on a budget resolution that could speed coronavirus aid through Congress.


"We have to get this done". He noted he spoke with Biden about the process. They criticized his relief package as a wish list of liberal packages disguised as a covid relief bill.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the upper chamber are planning to pass the bill through a budget resolution, which is filibuster proof, when it gets back to the upper chamber. He added that lawmakers should act quickly on his plan, which also includes billions for vaccine development and distribution along with a minimum wage hike. Should the Senate approve any amendments, the House would have to re-vote on that package later this week.

Not a single Republican Senator voted to advance the measure.

The two sides are far apart, with the Republican group of 10 senators focused primarily on the health care crisis and smaller $1,000 direct aid to Americans than the $1,400 payments Biden proposed, while the president is leading Democrats toward a more sweeping rescue plan to shore up households, local governments and a partly shuttered economy.

"If it's $1.9 trillion, so be it", Manchin said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday. "We need to act".

"We have a mandate to make people whole and get that them that $2,000 check", she said on ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) alleged his Democrat colleagues are launching a partisan campaign against the GOP. "We welcome cooperation. There is nothing about the process of a budget resolution or reconciliation, for that matter, that forecloses the possibility of bipartisanship".

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