Republicans on Capitol Hill have a different idea for the stimulus package as proposed by President Biden. Recall that President Biden had proposed a $1.9 trillion package including another stimulus check, eviction aid, and other strategies, however, the GOP has turned down this offer brought forward a counter package that totals $618 billion, which is not up to a third of what the president offered.
The bill for the $1.9 trillion packages was not passed as the republicans did not vote in favor of it. President Biden then met with 10 Republican senators in a bid to sway their opinion, however, they presented their counteroffer to the president. In the meeting described as ‘cordial’, no conclusion was reached and both parties agreed to continue to talk, to reach an agreement.
Both packages are similar in strategies and differ in amount value. Democrats are willing to allocate up to $2,000, for the stimulus payments, while the GOP insists on $1,000 per adult with a reduced income range to qualify for it, and $500 per dependent.
With regards to unemployment, democrats propose that benefits be continued till September, while the GOP wants it to be stopped by June. They propose using less than half of President Biden’s proposed sum of $350 billion on this.
Both plans agree on the fact that $20 billion would be utilized in coronavirus testing, vaccination, and tracing with a variation on the actual strategies to be deployed. The Biden proposal considers tripling the health workers available, while the GOP would rather pump funds into hospitals and health care providers that have suffered a loss in revenue and/or coronavirus-related expenses.
Despite the areas of agreement, the President emphasized his view that Congress must respond boldly and promptly and that the senators’ proposal did not address some areas, and as such would not be sufficient in itself.
The republicans seem hopeful that a bipartisan agreement of some sort can be reached, and eagerly look forward to it especially since the initial meeting with the president was held, which was one of his first activities in the office.
While the president is sure that the GOP would come to a bipartisan agreement, democrats do not seem to share the same opinion, as they went ahead to discuss reconciliation, in a bid to overthrow the GOP and get approval on President Biden’s relief package. At the moment, the Democrats have a total of 50 votes on the chair 100 seating capacity and with a reconciliation of budget, they would require a simple majority to pass the bid. And the winning chip would be V.P Kamala Harris. The GOP thinks that reconciliation would be a far stretch as there has not yet been enough of a bipartisan effort.
All in all, Democrats are considering every way to ensure this bill gets passed, and as soon as possible. With the president working directly with the GOP reps, Americans seem calm that one way would get them the bigger and preferred package of $1.9 trillion.