Republicans Pitch Biden on Smaller Aid Plan


A White House meeting between President Biden and 10 Republican senators went an hour longer than expected tonight as the group discussed covert relief. Republicans were presenting their alternative to the $1.9 Trillion covert relief package that President Biden has put forward. The Republican plan calls for less some $600 billion in aid instead, with smaller unemployment payments that expires sooner and smaller stimulus checks. Senator Bill Cassidy was at the meeting tonight. He's a Republican from Louisiana and joins us now. Welcome, Senator. Thank you all. So thanks for having me great to have you. Well, it sounds like it was a very long hopefully. Productive conversation. Where did you all leave it? Where we left it. You really shouldn't start off with a top line and work towards filling it up. You're basically trying to prove you care more about the American people by spending more. But of course, we recognize that we are borrowing this money, and there's a consequence and a knopper to nitty cost if you don't spend it wisely. So with that said both sides that okay, these are proposals and this is why we propose this amount and not that amount. I spoke to education on pointing out by the way that already we've appropriated about three times more than the centers for disease control say is necessary. For schools to safely reopen the president counters and several. This is my understanding, and we made a commitment that we would he would have his staff get us the facts. Upon which they based their decision. And of course we can share with them the CDC data and the other scientific literature as to why we think what's out there is adequate now the difference between our mountain his mouth for K through 12 is about $110 billion. So it's just a lot of money. S so if they can prove their case we'd be willing to give more and hopefully, if they can't they be willing to ask for less well. If Republicans and Democrats are not able to meet in the middle. Some of your Republican colleagues have argued that Using a process called reconciliation to pass this package that is Democrats passing it without any Republican support will make it harder in the future for both sides to work together. That said Republicans did use reconciliation back in 2017. When your party had control of the House, the Senate the White House in order to circumvent any objections from Democrats back then why should Democrats act any differently now? So there's a couple things to that a more nuanced if you will understanding one thing that Schumer is spoken of Chuck Schumer, the majority leader is doing away with the so called bird rule. Which is to say that on Lee something which is Germaine to the budget. Can be included. Right if you do that, then Katy Bar the door. They want to Democrats push to put through increasing the minimum wage of $15 certainly not remain to the budget, but that they would use this process to jam it through. Even though the CBO says that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would destroy 1.3 million jobs or something like that. Now, that's the sort of thing that should be discussed, debated not jam through on reconciliation because it has nothing to do whatsoever with Kobe. And it has nothing to do whatsoever with the, um the budget so you would end up destroying the institution. Republicans and Democrats to date have never attempted to destroy the institution. And their employment of budget reconciliation. Putting aside the issue of whether reconciliation being used in this case would violate the bird rule. Democrats did win a Senate majority, in part because they promised to send more relief aid to people. So elections have consequences. Right, Senator Why shouldn't Democrats try to use every tool within their disposal if Republicans are unwilling to sign on to the package that they want? When President Biden gave his speech, and he said he was going to reach across the aisle, looking for bipartisanship and asking for unity. We have passed five different covert bills on a bipartisan basis. Five different covert bills on a bipartisan basis, Spending trillions of dollars. Nobody's gone small in this Now, If you say Wait a second. We can't do a six. Because for some reason we've done five, but we can't do six because really, we want a lot more than you want, And we don't think you'll give it to us because we can't give you the data to support the numbers. That's certainly not in the spirit of the previous five. It would be something that would be totally unilateral, not supported by data and only doing it because, by golly, we can I don't think that's unity, and I don't think that's

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