WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The House is moving forward on coronavirus relief this week with committees working to approve key measures of President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion plan.
The draft legislation includes money for a national vaccination program, another round of stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, and food assistance and child care grants.
“The goal is to put vaccines in people’s arms, children back in schools, workers back in their jobs and money in people’s pockets,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA.
“Without robust action, the recovery is going to be long and painful,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY.
Despite differences in dollar amounts, versions of those priorities are also included in the Republican counter proposal. However, the GOP still won’t budge on state and local funding. Their plan omits additional direct aid, while Biden’s proposal includes $350 billion.
“What they’re trying to do is bail out states like Nancy Pelosi’s California, Chuck Schumer’s New York at the expense of states like Tennessee,” said Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-TN.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA, wants to know why states like California, who he said will finish the year with a surplus, are on track to get billions.
“I’ve been an advocate for state and local aid, but that is absurd and that is wrong,” Cassidy said.
Democrats want to pass Biden’s plan by the end of the month and are prepared to do it without Republicans through budget reconciliation, a simple majority vote.
“This will not be a bipartisan effort whatsoever,” Hagerty said.