This morning Chuck Schumer held a press conference, there is a link to the full press conference in the description below, but I will just go over the highlights here for you.
In this press conference he described the Senate’s three priorities for the next three weeks: number one, the trial of Donald Trump; number two, bold, strong COVID relief, and by COVID relief, Schumer means Biden’s one-point-nine-trillion-dollar stimulus proposal; and number three, approving the President’s cabinet.
Schumer said the Senate must advance all three in the next few weeks and that the stakes are too high to delay any of them. In terms of impeachment, Schumer said that the house managers will come to read the articles of impeachment at seven P.M. tomorrow, Monday, then on the twenty-sixth, Tuesday, members will be sworn in to sit for the trial, and then after that both the house managers and the President’s defense will have time to draft their legal briefs and during that period the Senate is able to do two other things before the impeachment trial begins the following week, and the two big things of course are to approve a number of the President’s key appointments, including his cabinet nominees, and to advance the COVID relief bill in a bold and strong way, Schumer kept saying that “bold and strong.”
In terms of COVID relief, Schumer pinpointed on the vaccine distribution, state and local funding, transit, unemployment, and fourteen-hundred-dollar stimulus payment attributes of Biden’s plan. Schumer reiterated that Biden’s proposal is two thousand dollars per person, Schumer said two thousand per person, four thousand per couple, and eight thousand for a family of four, of course these amounts are reduced by any six hundred dollar payment received per person after the latest stimulus legislation was passed.
Schumer said he hopes the Republicans will see the need and work with Democrats but that there are other means that Democrats can use including reconciliation.
In terms of Biden’s cabinet, Schumer said that Janet Yellen is scheduled to be confirmed tomorrow night. But going back to stimulus and the perennial issue of the Republicans, a reporter asked Schumer a very good question.
So Schumer basically implied that the Dems are not willing to revise the current stimulus plan, Biden’s one-point-nine-trillion-dollar plan, he didn’t mention it, he said we need big stimulus, and that he hopes Republicans will join in with big stimulus but he said Dems have tools, such as the reconciliation process, to get things done without them. Could he also have in mind doing away with the legislative filibuster?
Certainly, Democrats have not left that off the table, and in fact Dick Durbin, the number two Senate Democrat, was on Meet the Press this morning, and he said that Democrats will not give into McConnell’s demand to protect the legislative filibuster, which is really one of the only tools Republicans have left in the Senate.