10 Senate Republicans Outline $600B Counteroffer To Biden’s COVID-19 Relief Bill

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Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, seen here at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, is leading a group of GOP senators who have written to President Biden with a request to detail a COVID-19 rescue counterproposal.

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On Friday, Biden himself told reporters at the White House: «I support passing COVID relief with support from Republicans if we can get it. But the COVID relief has to pass.»

In the letter Sunday, the senators note that earlier COVID-19 relief packages passed with bipartisan support and that their proposal includes some similar elements to Biden’s plan, including allocating $160 billion for vaccine development and distribution, testing and tracing, and personal protective equipment.

«Our proposal also includes economic relief for those Americans with the greatest need, providing more targeted assistance than in the Administration’s plan,» the letter reads. «We propose an additional round of economic impact payments for those families who need assistance the most, including their dependent children and adults.»

The lawmakers say their plan also includes extending enhanced federal unemployment benefits and deploying additional resources to help small businesses.

Notably, the letter did not mention state and local aid, which was a key sticking point in past rounds of relief negotiations. Biden’s package includes $350 billion in emergency funding for state and local governments.

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The letter was also signed by Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Todd Young of Indiana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Mitt Romney of Utah and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

Portman had previously warned the Biden administration of moving forward on a new round of relief legislation without GOP support, saying it «poisons the well.»

«My hope is that we won’t go down this path of trying to circumvent the supermajority and just jam something through,» Portman told NPR’s Susan Davis. «I think that would set the tone for the administration that would be really problematic for the country and frankly, bad for the Biden administration.»

  • COVID-19
  • coronavirus


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