WASHINGTON (AP) – President Biden urged Senate Democrats to rally behind the $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 bailout bill, backed by his proposed $ 1,400 payments, despite some partisans trying to call for parts of the package.
“He said we should pass this bill, we should pass it soon. “This is what the American people have sent us. We must get America the help we need,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters in DN.Y., describing Biden’s 20-minute parliamentary call with Democratic senators. on Tuesday. ,
The president’s call for unity came as Democrats, with no votes in the 50-50 Senate, sorted out divisions over the existing bill. These included moderate efforts to narrow the costs to the most affected by the deadly epidemic and the resulting economic downturn.
Biden wrote on his Twitter page that he would not give up his demand that lawmakers add a new $ 1,400 to the $ 600 that millions received from December aid. This new share accounts for almost a quarter of the total bill.
“The fact is that $ 600 is not enough. “The Senate must accept the American bailout plan and end $ 2,000 in direct aid,” Biden wrote in one of his predecessors, Donald Trump’s rare use of the environment, sometimes used more than 100 times a day.
The huge aid package is a moment of great failure for the future president, who would be politically shaken if the Congress, which was tightly controlled by the Democrats but still controlled, failed to present. Biden’s top priority is to conquer the virus that has killed half a million Americans, which has plagued the economy and countless lives.
Republicans are still following in the footsteps of President Barack Obama. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, RK, said he hoped Senate senators would unanimously oppose the bill, as their House counterparts did on Saturday when the House approved its version of the size.
McConnell blamed the Democrats for ignoring the signs that the economy, the deadly virus rage, was turning, and avoiding the Republicans. Last month, Biden met with 10 Senate senators who presented a $ 600 billion plan, one-third the size, but did not find the situation.
“The new administration has made a conscious effort to stop us,” McConnell told reporters. “We will fight against it in any way we can.”
Democrats are using special rules to avoid GOP filters, which would require them to collect the impossible 60 votes to pass legislation.
It was expected that the Senate bill would mainly reflect the package approved by the House of Representatives. The most serious controversy is that the federal minimum wage has risen to $ 15 due to language decline by the Senate.
Schumer said that the Senate debate will start on Wednesday. “We will have the necessary votes to pass the bill.” Democrats want to send Biden the latest package by March 14, when the earlier term for emergency benefits expires.
The bill has hundreds of billions of dollars for schools, colleges, COVID-19 vaccines, mass transit systems, renters, and small businesses. It also has money for childcare, child tax benefits and assistance for countries wishing to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income residents.
Two people said Biden told Democrats that they sometimes have to make statements that they do not like. And it was clear that there were still moving parts.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Mancin, arguably the Senate’s most conservative Democrat, said he wanted to increase the bill’s $ 400 weekly unemployment benefit to $ 300 a week. This is the same amount that Congress approved last December at the expense of regular state benefits, անչ Mancin said that a higher rate would discourage people from returning to work.
“It’s awful to open the door, no one is working,” Mancin said of the business reopening. High Democrats and progressives are opposed to reducing those benefits, but Schumer suggested waiting for a final decision, saying: “They are discussing it.”
I-Maine Sen. Angus King said he wanted the bill to be $ 350 billion for the state և local government to set minimum limits for city governments և and called for $ 50 billion to improve network coverage.
Despite every huge leverage by Democrats, as all their votes are needed, so far no one has threatened to overthrow the law if it does not show up. Everyone knows how this will undermine Biden’s presidency ությունը Democrats’ ability to be effective during this Congress.
“We want to get the biggest, strongest bill that can be passed, that’s what we’re going to do,” Schumer said.
There were indications that the free ends were falling. In one sign, 11 Democrat senators wrote to Biden urging him to use the huge, upcoming infrastructure project to provide regular paid assistance and unemployment benefits that would automatically lead to economic conditions.
Some progressives wanted the fees to be included in the COVID-19 bill. Democrats’ push for it to be passed further suggested that progressives should be satisfied while avoiding jeopardizing the current package.
Progressives, however, were keenly convinced of the virtual belief that the Senate bill would not raise the minimum wage from $ 7.25 an hour closed since 2009.
The House non-partisan lawmaker said last week that including the increase violates Senate budget rules. Opposition to moderate Democrats, including Mancini Sen. Kirsten Cinema, left Democrats without the votes needed to save it.
A fundraising e-mail from our Revolutionary Progress Political Committee, created by supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Highlighted the anger of the left. Sanders is the main sponsor of the salary increase in the Senate.
“The politician on the road to change is Vice President Kamala Harris,” the e-mail said, noting that the White House had already rejected the possibility of a decisive vote in the Senate. It says the organization will “hold him accountable if he decides to turn his back on key employees”.
The Senate legislators also passed a small provision that would provide $ 1.5 million for the US to maintain and maintain a bridge over the Canadian-New York state. The funding was removed after some Republican lawmakers criticized it as an example of a waste article that should not have been part of the COVID bailout bill.
AP Congress reporter Lisa Mascaro and AP writer Kevin Freaking contributed to this report.