White House Looks Outside Washington For Republicans Who Back COVID-19 Aid Plan
Added 02-05-21 06:07:02am EST - “In dozens of local TV interviews, Zoom meetings and conference calls, the Biden administration is trying to build support for its $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.” - Npr.org
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Cedric Richmond, seen here in a file photo, says the White House sees bipartisan support for the sprawling COVID-19 relief package — despite what Republicans in Congress are saying. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption
Cedric Richmond, seen here in a file photo, says the White House sees bipartisan support for the sprawling COVID-19 relief package — despite what Republicans in Congress are saying.
As Democrats in Congress take the initial steps to pass President Biden's $1.9 billion COVID-19 relief package using a process that won't require any Republican votes, the White House is working to rack up endorsements from state and local elected officials and business groups — a strategy that it argues is making the bill bipartisan.
Congressional Republicans say the package is too large and payments should be targeted to people who really need it. In a letter to Biden on Thursday, 10 GOP senators who had met with him noted some of the money appropriated in previous relief packages hasn't yet been spent. It highlights a gulf that will make it difficult to pass a bill that is bipartisan by any traditional definition.
Biden has vowed to try to unite the country, and has said addressing the economic and health crises caused by the coronavirus is his top priority is a big part of that. But constrained by the pandemic, Biden hasn't yet been able to make the case for his plan by taking it on the road to rallies or even kitchen table photo ops, in the way that presidents typically have made large legislative pushes.
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