Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that Democrats are ready to cope with President Biden’s massive Coronavirus Help Package without GOP support if Republicans do not realize that “big” action is needed.
Schumer, DN.Y., said Democrats will begin considering a “very strong COVID aid bill” as soon as next week with or without Republicans on board.
“Our preference is to do this important work in two parts – to include input, ideas and revisions from our Republican colleagues or bipartisan efforts to do the same,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday morning. “But if our Republican colleagues decide to oppose this urgent and necessary legislation, we must move forward without them.”
Senate legislation usually takes 60 votes to proceed, but Schumer and the next chair of the Committee on Budgets, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Suggest using a process called budget reconciliation that allows the package to pass by a simple majority vote. than bipartisanship.
The Senate is currently split 50-50, with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris holding the 51st vote.
Schumer pointed to new “sober” economic reports on the weak pace of the Federal Reserve’s economic recovery, high unemployment claims and news on Thursday that the US economy has shrunk by 3.5 percent last year – making 2020 the worst year for economic growth since 1946.
“Given these economic figures, the need to act is big and bold,” Schumer said.
He said there is a greater risk of becoming too small, rather than too large. Congress must not repeat the “mistake” of 2009 when lawmakers were “too modest” about the global financial crisis, which prolonged the recession, Schumer said.
“We have a responsibility to help the American people quickly, especially given these new economic figures,” Schumer said. “The Senate will begin that work next week.”
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