House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have tabled a joint resolution approving President Joe Biden's coronavirus stimulus package with or without the Republican Party shall be.
In a joint statement on Twitter, Pelosi and Schumer said, "The cost of inaction is high and rising, and now is the time for decisive action."
"We are confident that Republicans will work bipartisan to support support for their communities, but the American people cannot afford any further delays and Congress must act to prevent more unnecessary suffering," the statement added.
Breaking: Schumer & Pelosi have tabled a joint budget resolution setting up the voting process to streamline Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion COVID package transfer, with or without GOP support. Pic.twitter.com/yEK83L7sya
– Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) February 1, 2021
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Will Democrats Bypass Republicans?
Before the election, the idea of ending the filibuster had been circulated. The thought was that it would be easy for Democrats to work through an all-left agenda if it did.
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) had both declared that they were against the termination of the filibuster.
The filibuster is just one of two guards against the 51-vote power. Time for Senators to adopt the Byrd Rule. @KimStrassel https://t.co/T5lY5Wu12s via @WSJ
– Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) January 29, 2021
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The Senate is more likely to pass laws through a process called reconciliation. Some spending and tax measures can be passed by a simple majority.
In 1985, the late Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) attempted to discourage senators from abusing the simple majority rule by trying to include non-budget issues on these bills. The Senate passed the rule according to which the Senate MP essentially decides whether issues included in reconciliation bills are actually budget-related.
The Byrd Rule prevents the majority from using reconciliation to bypass the filibuster.
Even if Manchin and Sinema say they are against ending the filibuster, some progressive groups are putting pressure on other Democrats to basically include the Biden agenda in reconciliation laws and then override the MP if they go against the Byrd Breaking the rule.
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Republicans meet with Biden for bipartisan talks
A group of ten Republican senators met with President Biden Monday evening to discuss a possible bipartisan path regarding the COVID relief bill. Should this group of Senators and fifty Democrats reach an agreement, there would be enough votes to avoid filibustering other Republicans in the Senate.
In a statement from all ten Republican senators, they said they are "grateful that President Biden spent so much time with us at his first official meeting in the Oval Office to discuss the response to the COVID crisis."
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) described the meeting as "excellent" while Senator Todd Young (R-IN) described it as "productive".
We had an excellent two hour meeting with President Biden, where we presented our COVID-19 relief proposal and had a very productive exchange of views. https://t.co/kM0xQowGQf
– Senator Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) February 2, 2021
Had a productive meeting in the Oval Office tonight with President Biden and several of my colleagues. We have presented our more targeted COVID aid proposal and discussions between our group, the administration and other senators are ongoing. pic.twitter.com/IwUXrAQCja
– Senator Todd Young (@SenToddYoung) February 2, 2021
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Democrats plan to flex their muscles
While Senate GOP members described a positive meeting with the president, White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that the president “shares a desire to provide aid to the American people … that he will not slow down work on this urgent crisis response and won't settle for a package that doesn't meet the moment. "
During his meeting with GOP senators, Biden reiterated "that while he hopes the bailout plan can be passed with mutual support, a reconciliation package is one way to achieve this," and that he is not satisfied with one package will not be fulfilled at the moment, "says the White House.
– Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) February 2, 2021
The Republican proposal is just over $ 600 billion in what is termed "targeted," and is one-third the size of President Biden's $ 1.9 trillion proposal. Pelosi and Schumer use Biden's number as a guide for their work in Congress.