Well we’ve been hearing that Pelosi and House Dems are eager to act quickly on stimulus and COVID relief, and just this morning Nancy Pelosi confirmed that House Democrats will move immediately on a coronavirus relief package.
She said, “We’re getting ready for a COVID relief package. We’ll be working on that as we go. We’ll be doing our committee work all next week so that we are completely ready to go to the floor when we come back.”
But here’s the thing. Biden’s one-point-nine-trillion-dollar package is a heck of a lot of money to Senate Republicans in a Senate that less than a month ago passed a nine-hundred-billion-dollar package.
In fact, Republican Senator Roy Blunt yesterday said that he suspects the whole package is a non-starter, though he did say that there are parts of Biden’s plan that Republicans could support. And even Mitt Romney, who is typically one of the more bipartisan Republican senators — in fact some Republicans calling him a Republican in name only just like some Democrats call Joe Manchin a Democrat in name only — Romney said that the Biden stimulus proposal is “not well-timed.”
He said, “We just passed a nine hundred billion dollar plus package, let’s give that some time to be able to influence the economy.” Honestly, personally, I think if Pelosi and Biden and Schumer want an easy win for Biden early on, they don’t push for something huge, but right off the bat, they help the people — stimulus checks, unemployment so people can eat (nine hundred thousand new jobless claims last week by the way, in addition to four hundred twenty three thousand some PUA applications) — and they pump more money into vaccine distribution so we can crush the virus, people and vaccines.
But what do you think? Do you think Democrats should push for Biden’s entire one-point-nine-trillion-dollar proposal right off the bat? Or do you think they should do some things piecemeal first? Let me know in the comments. Politico is reporting that, as we discussed yesterday, “Some House Democrats are considering a bipartisan bill to get cash out fast for vaccine distribution and fourteen hundred dollar stimulus checks.”
Politico does not specify which Democrats these are, but apparently that is something that is being discussed, Politico goes on to say that some Dems believe a bill like this could get a vote as soon as next week and could get Republicans to buy in as well.
Republican Representative Tom Reed of New York, who is the Republican co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, said that one of the things he thinks could really get people together is vaccine distribution and maybe there’s some additional monetary assistance, of course that would mean probably stimulus checks. And that bipartisan group who provided much of the framework for the stimulus bill that was eventually passed and signed into law three and a half weeks ago, that group is still around.
Joe Manchin, who was quarterbacking that group, said that the group, the bipartisan group, plans to meet with the Biden administration over the weekend to discuss a path forward on relief. Of course there is the possibility of passing some things through the reconciliation process which we’ve discussed previously on the channel, but that would kind of go against the spirit of bipartisanship that Joe Biden is trying to achieve, and the new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said yesterday that Joe Biden’s “clear preference” is to move forward with a bipartisan bill, he wants Republicans involved.
Nevertheless, you have people like Bernie Sanders, who has never been one to really care about bipartisanship, saying, “I think we’ve got to reach out to Republicans. I hope many of them understand the crises that we’re facing. But if they don’t, we’ve got to go forward with reconciliation.”
Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, is attempting to get Democrats to commit to not doing away with the legislative filibuster, but he’s not having much luck.
Although actually doing away with the legislative filibuster does not seem to be a Democratic priority right now, they sure like having that, let’s say, threat around when handling Republicans. In terms of Biden’s executive actions, sure enough in response to Biden yesterday calling on the CDC to extend the eviction moratorium, the CDC did exactly that, through March Thirty-First.
Biden will sign more executive orders today, including one to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase the supply of materials needed to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine as well as increasing COVID-19 testing. Bien will also order the creation of a pandemic testing board, tasked with expanding testing capacity, especially in schools, he will also order the creation of a public dashboard with real-time national and state-level data on cases, testing, vaccinations, and hospitals admissions.
He will also impose a mask-wearing mandate on airplanes and other forms of interstate transportation, also he will order FEMA to set up one hundred community vaccination sites in the next thirty days. He will also restore full funding for the National Guard’s pandemic work.
And of course let us not forget the Trump impeachment trial. Pelosi said this morning that she would “soon” take steps to send the article of impeachment to the Senate, which would formally commence the impeachment trial of Donald Trump in the Senate, she could do that as early as tomorrow, but some Democrats are saying that perhaps Pelosi is preferring to wait for Schumer and McConnell to come to terms on how things are going to work now that Dems control the Senate.
Also, Trump is reported to have retained an impeachment attorney.