GOP senators want a bipartisan relief bill

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(WLAX/WEUX) – A group of senate republicans is asking President Biden to work with them on a different COVID-19 relief plan. Ten GOP senators sent a letter to the president with a counterproposal to his one-point-nine-trillion dollar package.
Melisa Raney has details.

A counterproposal to President Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan. Ten GOP senators sent a letter to Biden on Sunday asking for a meeting, and the chance to work together on drafting the COVID-19 relief package.

“It specifies the proposal we think is more targeted and more appropriate for the times we’re in. And my hope is the president will meet with us and we’ll work out something bipartisan. We’ve done it five times and had five COVID-19 packages that are entirely bipartisan and let’s do it again because that’s what would be best for the country,” said Senator Portman.

The Republican plan includes a total of 160 billion dollars for vaccine development and distribution, testing and tracing, and treatment and supplies. The framework also includes a new round of direct payments but not for everyone.

“If you look at the administration’s plan, you could have a family with three kids making almost 300-thousand bucks a year and getting a check and many of these people have had no impact from COVID-19 and in fact, some are doing quite well. Others are struggling. Let’s focus on those who are struggling,” said Portman.

The proposal doesn’t have an estimated cost just yet, but Senator Portman says it will be less than Biden’s 1.9 trillion-dollar plan.

Reps from the Biden Administration say they’re open to some of the GOP suggestions.
“What I will say is that the provisions of the president’s plan, the American Rescue Plan, were calibrated to the economic crisis that we face,” said Brian Deese, Director, White House’s National Economic Council. We’re certainly open to input from anywhere we can find a constructive idea to make this package as effective as possible but the president is uncompromising when it comes to the speed we need to act at to address this crisis.”

I’m Melisa Raney reporting.

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