Ten Republican senators wrote a statement on Wednesday in response to President Joe Biden’s comments on a bipartisan COVID-19 relief proposal that the senators previously submitted.
When Biden was asked on Wednesday about Republican support for the $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal, he referenced the CCP virus relief bill, and said that the Republican group wasn’t ready to cooperate.
“I would’ve been prepared to compromise, but they didn’t. They didn’t move an inch. Not an inch,” Biden said.
The ten senators are Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).
“In good faith, our group of 10 Republicans worked together to draft a sixth Covid-19 relief package earlier this year,” their statement reads.
“The Administration roundly dismissed our effort as wholly inadequate in order to justify its go-it-alone strategy. Fewer than 24 hours after our meeting in the Oval Office, the Senate Democratic Leader began the process of triggering reconciliation which precluded Republican participation and allowed for the package to pass without a single Republican vote,” the statement says.
“Our $618 billion proposal was a first offer to the White House designed to open bipartisan negotiations. Our package included the core Covid relief elements of the Biden Administration’s plan, such as providing an identical amount—$160 billion—to support vaccines and testing. In addition, we later upped our offer to $650 billion to increase the size of the stimulus checks.”
The group met with Biden on Feb. 1 to discuss the specifics of their $618 billion CCP virus relief proposal, later introducing another expanded version ($650 billion) that increased the stimulus check sizes.
The Biden administration ended up moving the plan forward with only congressional Democrat support.
The senators had previously sent a letter (pdf) on Jan. 31, describing their version of a COVID-19 relief.
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) told The Epoch Times on Feb. 28 that the vast majority of the COVID-19 relief bill isn’t targeted for actual pandemic relief and is intended to back Democratic-controlled states.
The congressman said the $1.9 trillion measure is actually an addition to the $1 trillion already allotted for COVID-19 relief.
“I think most of the American people need to know, we already had a trillion dollars worth of money allocated but not yet spent. Now, we’re going to throw another $1.9 trillion on top of that,” Kelly said at the annual conservative conference in Orlando, Florida.
“And only about 9 percent of that is going to actually go to COVID relief, the other is going to go to backing blue states that have not been able to run themselves the right way.”
Kelly expressed annoyance with the argument that it’s government money and that it’s acceptable for them to spend it as such, pointing out that it adds to the national debt.
“Not one penny of it is government money. Every single penny of it came out of your pocket; you’re going to be co-signing on a debt that goes far into the future. And we know right now, between funded and unfunded liabilities, the total debt in the United States is over $130 trillion,” he said.
“We talk so quickly about, ‘Oh, it’s $30 trillion we’re up to right now.’ I said no, no—funded and unfunded liabilities [it’s] $130 trillion. We’re spending money like there’s no tomorrow.”