Democrats Weigh Options For Passing Aid Package With GOP Resistance
President Joe Biden and Democrats debate using the budget reconciliation process to push through another round of covid stimulus but it would come at the expense of bipartisanship.
Biden's Bipartisan Push Hits Wall On COVID-19 Relief Bill
President Biden is facing a tough choice just days into his administration on how to pursue coronavirus relief after his $1.9 trillion proposal got a frosty reception from Republicans. The White House and congressional Democrats are eager to move quickly on another round of COVID-19 aid as the U.S. extends its undesirable streak as the world leader in coronavirus cases. (Carney, 1/26)
Schumer: Senate Could Pave Way For Reconciliation On COVID Relief Next Week
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Democrats on a conference call on Tuesday that they could vote as soon as next week on a budget resolution that would pave the way for coronavirus legislation to pass the chamber with a simple majority. Schumer, who disclosed the detail to reporters during a press conference, didn't commit to using reconciliation — a budget process that bypasses the 60-vote filibuster — but warned that Democrats were willing to go it alone. (Carney, 1/26)
Democrats’ Covid Conundrum: Work With GOP Or Run Them Over
Progressives are itching to wield control of the House and Senate and are skeptical that talks between a bipartisan group of senators and President Joe Biden will bear fruit. But moderates say the party needs to be more patient and give the centrists some space to work. And there’s not a lot of time: Critical unemployment benefits now expire on March 14. (Everett, Ferris and Emma, 1/26)
Senate Rules Could Pose Hurdles For Vaccine Funds
Progressive Democrats in the Senate are hoping to use a streamlined process that needs just 50 votes to approve a Covid-19 relief package that includes billions in new funding for vaccines and other supplies. But some experts are already casting doubt on that plan. ... STAT spoke with nine current and former congressional staffers and budgetary experts, and they were about evenly divided on whether Democrats could move the public health funds through the streamlined process. None of them were definitively sure. (Cohrs, 1/27)
In legislative news from Georgia —
The Washington Post:
A Georgia GOP Lawmaker Refused Covid-19 Tests. He Was Kicked Off The Floor For ‘Jeopardizing The Health’ Of Colleagues.
As the Georgia House of Representatives convened on Tuesday, Speaker David Ralston (R) called for an unnamed lawmaker who had repeatedly refused to be tested for the coronavirus to quietly remove himself from the room. But no one left the chamber. So Ralston then called on a state trooper to escort out Republican state Rep. David Clark for violating the twice-a-week testing policy and for “jeopardizing the health of our members in this Chamber.” (Peiser, 1/27)