Biden Calls Republican, Progressive Senators as Covid Stimulus Hits Roadblocks

Date: 2021-01-29 23:49:15

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President Joe Biden is personally reaching out to Republican lawmakers amid a cool reception from the party for his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.

Maine Senator Susan Collins spoke with Biden on Tuesday, telling reporters on Thursday: “It was a very friendly call. I’ve known him for years.” Ohio Senator Rob Portman also spoke with Biden this week, NBC News reported Thursday.

Winning bipartisan support for the stimulus — Biden’s stated goal — would enable the plan to move more quickly through Congress. Democrats in Congress are also preparing to proceed alone through a process called budget reconciliation, which would take longer and potentially remove some pieces from consideration.

Democrats are signaling they are going to move ahead with reconciliation next week, and Republicans are saying that this will hinder any attempt to do a bipartisan bill.

“It’s certainly not helpful,” said Collins.

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