‘Majority passing ‘partisan’ COVID-19 bill,’ says Senate Minority Leader McConnell
UPDATED 6:54 AM PT – Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Top Republican lawmakers are blasting Democrats for casting them aside to pass their own coronavirus bill.
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) alleged his Democrat colleagues are launching a partisan campaign against the GOP. His assumption came after Democrats in the Senate voted 50-to-49 to advance the budget resolution, inching closer to passing Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion bill.
“It looks like the majority is going to have us vote on the motion to proceed to the budget this afternoon, they’ve chosen a totally partisan path,” he stated. “I can’t remember a budget in the time that I’ve been here that either side has ever voted in a bipartisan way, so we’re off to a totally partisan start.”
McConnell said Republicans attempted to reach across the aisle Monday when a group of 10 senators met with Biden to propose their nearly $620 billion bill.
While aiming to reach a bipartisan compromise, the Republican senators, including Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), tried to come together on several issues. They proposed sending up to $1,000 stimulus checks to Americans and give those out of work an extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits.
We had an excellent two-hour meeting with President Biden, where we presented our COVID-19 relief proposal & had a very productive exchange of views. https://t.co/kM0xQowGQf
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) February 2, 2021
Additionally, the Republican group pushed for 1$60 billion to bolster vaccination efforts, testing capacity and protective equipment.
McConnell claimed Biden was interested in scoring a bipartisan victory, but not members of his staff nor Democrat lawmakers.
“I think our 10 members laid out a proposal that could have gotten broad bipartisan support and given the new administration a chance to get a bipartisan victory here early,” explained the Kentucky lawmaker. “But they are in the majority in the House and Senate, and life is a series of choices and they’ve chosen.”
Meanwhile, Democrats in the upper chamber are planning to pass the bill through a budget resolution, which is filibuster proof, when it gets back to the upper chamber. They are hoping to send the bill to the White House by March before this round of coronavirus aid is set to expire.