Psaki hints Biden may skip bipartisan deal on COVID-19 if needed: ‘Not going to take any tools off the table’

Psaki hints Biden may skip bipartisan deal on COVID-19 if needed: ‘Not going to take any tools off the table’

President
Biden has
signaled
that he
wants
to
secure bipartisan
support
for
another

coronavirus
relief
package,
but
his
administration
is
refusing
to
rule
out
unilateral
action
by
congressional
Democrats
on
the
next
round
of
emergency
aid. 

“We
are
not
going
to
take
any
tools
off
the
table,”
White
House
press
secretary
Jen
Psaki
told
reporters
on
Wednesday,
hours
after
Biden’s
inauguration. 

BIDEN
SPARKS
BACKLASH
AMONG
SOME
PROGRESSIVES
OVER
$1,400
STIMULUS
CHECKS
IN
COVID
RELIEF
PROPOSAL

Psaki
hinted
that Democrats
could
use
a
process
known
as
budget
reconciliation

which
would
allow
them
to
circumvent
the
60-vote
threshold
and
advance
the
measure
in
the
Senate using
their
slimmest-possible
majority

to
pass
the
$1.9
trillion
stimulus
measure
that
Biden
outlined
last
week.

Another
possibility
is
ending
the
legislative
filibuster,
an
option
that
Senate
Minority
Leader
Mitch
McConnell
is
trying
to
take
off
the
table
as
part
of
a
deal
to
run
the
50-50
Senate.
But
Democrats
have
indicated
they
have
little
interest
in
protecting
the
filibuster,
arguing
that
the
threat
of
targeting
it
could
force
reluctant
Republicans
to
compromise.

“It
would
be
exactly
the
wrong
way
to
begin,”

said
Sen.
Richard
Blumenthal,
D-Conn. “We
need
to
have
the
kind
of
position
of
strength
that
will
enable
us
to
get
stuff
done.”

WHAT’S
IN
BIDEN’S
$1.9T
STIMULUS
PLAN?

Still,
Psaki
said
that
Biden
“is
no
stranger
to
the
process
of
dealmaking,”
and
his
“clear
preference”
is
to
strike
a
bipartisan
deal.

Biden’s
stimulus
proposal
includes
$20
billion
to
accelerate
vaccine
distribution, a
$15-an-hour
minimum
wage
increase,
an
extension
of
supplemental
unemployment
benefits
through
the
end
of
September, a
one-time
$1,400
stimulus
check,
a
temporary
expansion
of
the
Earned
Income
Tax
Credit
and
Child
Tax
Credit
and
$350
billion
in
new
funding
for
state
and
local
governments.

While
top
Democrats
endorsed
Biden’s
stimulus proposal,
a
number
of
deficit-weary
Republicans
have
said
the
aid
package
is
too
expensive,
foreshadowing
a
looming
battle
between
lawmakers
over
federal
spending.
On
Tuesday,
during
Janet
Yellen’s
confirmation
hearing
to
be
Treasury
secretary,
Sen.
Pat
Toomey,
R-Pa.,
warned
Biden’s
plan
“would
be
a
colossal
waste
and
economically
harmful.”

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FOX
BUSINESS
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GO
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Democrats
will
control
the
Senate
by
the
thinnest of
margins
after
twin
victories
by Jon
Ossoff
and
Raphael
Warnock
in
the
Georgia
runoff
elections
last week
clinched
the
party
a
50-50
split
in
the
upper
chamber, with
Vice
President
Kamala
Harris
able
to
cast
a
tie-breaking
vote.
Democrats
hold
a
slim 222-to-211
advantage
in
the
House.

There
are
limits
on
what
legislation
qualifies
for
reconciliation
and
how
frequently
the
process
can
be
used.

Megan
Henney
is
a
reporter
for
FOX
Business
and
Fox
News.
Follow
her
on
Twitter @megan_henney.

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