Democrats Look to Pass Biden Stimulus Package Without Republican Support
Republicans are concerned about the immense cost of the package at $1.9 trillion, especially since it hasn't even been a month since the $900 billion relief bill was passed. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, added votes next week “that will give us the option of using budget reconciliation to advance a COVID-19 relief package,” he said Tuesday night. This would allow Democrats to pass the bill with a majority vote in the Senate without requiring Republican support.
Nothing is concrete yet, but it is an option in case Republicans don't approve the bill. President Biden has been busy during his first week in office and hopes to get aid to Americans as soon as possible. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly and killing more than 3,000 Americans per day on average. The US has also been actively inoculating its citizens with an average of 1.27 million doses being administered daily.
The $1.9 trillion aid package aims to expedite vaccinations, provide direct payment to Americans, and provide relief for small businesses, state, and local governments. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers earlier this month that “with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big.”
“If our Republican colleagues decide to oppose the necessary, robust, Covid relief that is needed, we will have to move forward without them. It is not our preference,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday. We will not “repeat the mistakes of 2008 and 2009,” he added, referring to when lawmakers failed to pass legislation in response to the financial crisis.