A group of Republicans announced Monday their counterproposal to the CCP Virus relief plan put forward by the Democrats. The Republicans propose a $618 billion package and will present it personally to President Joe Biden.
The relief plan submitted by the Democrats calls for an exorbitant $1.9 trillion in spending, of which $160 billion would be for vaccines and testing, $170 billion for schools and universities, and would also include a stimulus check of $1,400 per person, among other provisions.
Republicans in general and some Democrats have questioned the size of the stimulus package and pointed to misallocation and ineffective measures to solve critical problems.
A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), set up a conference call on Jan. 25, including Jeff Zients, Biden’s CCP Virus policy coordinator, and Louisa Terrell, White House legislative affairs chief. They raised strong opposition to the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan presented by Biden, the Daily Wire reported.
A group of 10 Republican senators released an alternative to the aid package on Monday, for a considerably smaller $618 billion. The senators were scheduled to meet with Biden today to discuss their proposal in person, but there has been no official word yet.
In a joint statement, the senators said, “We appreciate the president’s quick response to our letter, and we are pleased to accept his invitation to the White House tomorrow afternoon to discuss the path forward for the sixth bipartisan COVID-19 relief package.”
The White House’s invitation to Senate Republicans to meet came hours after lawmakers sent Biden a letter on Sunday urging him to negotiate rather than try to pass their aid package solely with Democratic votes in the Senate.
According to reports, the Republican proposal would include $160 billion in direct response to the immediate effects of the pandemic, including $50 billion for a “massive expansion of infectious disease testing,” $30 billion for a disaster relief fund, and $20 billion for a vaccination program.
Besides, there would be an extension of weekly unemployment insurance payments of $300 initially through July, worth $130 billion.
The House and Senate are on track to vote this week on a budget resolution on the matter, so the last-minute meeting between Biden and Republicans could prove key to the outcome.
There has been no comment on the meeting yet. Still, both sides will be looking to impose their idea, and whichever side can negotiate their position better will be able to get results that will approve one aid model or another.
One model features excessive spending by the state, implying a future tax increase for citizens. While the other focuses on rationalized aid that seeks to optimize expenditures to generate economic incentive without destroying federal funds.