Democrats discuss passing COVID relief without Republican support

FILE – In this Jan. 26, 2021, file photo, a woman is vaccinated inside her vehicle at a mass COVID-19 vaccination site outside The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:37 AM PT – Monday, February 1, 2021

Joe Biden has been promising for months to work with both political parties to pass legislation. However, Democrats are now discussing plans to bypass Republicans and approve a large scale coronavirus relief package on their own.

On Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) said he believes there are enough Democrat votes to pass the $1.9 trillion bill dubbed the American Rescue Plan. He noted, he and other Democrats still have misgivings about the bill, but are simply supporting Joe Biden’s administration.

Democrats are coming under fire for renouncing their promises of bipartisanship so soon into the Biden administration. Meanwhile, Republicans have maintained their own concerns about the relief bill, primarily its budget price.

In response, 10 Republican lawmakers introduced their own relief bill, which is expected to be between $500 and $600 billion. In a memo to Biden, the GOP lawmakers, led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), said they recognized Biden’s calls for unity and want to work in good faith to address economic, health and societal challenges.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks during a confirmation hearing for Joe Biden’s pick for national intelligence director before the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Washington. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

The Republicans’ legislation includes $160 billion for COVID vaccines and testing in addition to producing and providing more PPE, which is similar to Democrats plan. It also extends federal unemployment benefits and provides additional resources for small businesses.

Senior Democrats touted getting rid of the filibuster as a way to pass the COVID relief without Republicans, but the notion was slammed by Republicans and two Democrats who vowed to vote against such a move.

While Democrats are expected to admonish the GOP bill, Biden said he will meet with Republicans and possibly incooperate their concerns into legislation that both parties feel comfortable with.

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Author: Amber28

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