Democrats forge ahead with Biden’s $1.9T COVID relief plan

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats on Capitol Hill are gearing up to advance President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, regardless of whether Republicans are on board.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said her party could pass the plan as soon as next week, saying families and businesses in need can’t wait.

“We have to act,” she told reporters Thursday.

Democrats and Republicans continue mostly information negotiations to find a plan that might gain widespread support in both the U.S. House and Senate.

“We want it to be bipartisan always but we can’t surrender,” Pelosi said.

Still, the majority of Republicans are balking at the price tag and say provisions in the plan as it stands now are flawed.

“Too much of the money is not directly going to the people who need it the most,” Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said, pointing specifically to additional $1,400 stimulus checks, a minimum wage increase and billions for local and state governments.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the door remains open for reasonable compromises but that Congress needs to get moving.

“We’re not out of the woods by a long shot,” he said on the Senate floor. “We shouldn’t take our foot off the accelerator.”

The White House is open to a bipartisan deal but refuses to split up the package to appease Republicans.

“That package has the support of the majority of Americans according to every poll that we have seen,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

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