Biden should talk to GOP senators about COVID-19 aid bill
President Joe Biden is pressing to get a COVID-19 relief bill passed, and he indicated he is willing to push it through with the slim Democratic majority he has in Congress.
This weekend a group of 10 Republican senators proposed he meet with them to hear about a bill, a $600 billion bill that is about a third the size of Biden’s $1.9 trillion package, but one they say will accomplish the goals Biden has for vaccines, testing, treatment and protective equipment, but which targets stimulus aid to those most in need, rather that sending nearly everyone a $1,400 check.
The 10 Republicans have not released many details of their proposal, but President Biden should definitely sit down with them and listen to what they have to say.
Biden spoke eloquently at his inauguration about unity, about coming together to fix the problems of this nation. The overture by the 10 Republicans, who with the Democrats would put the Senate over the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster, is an invitation to Biden to follow through on his inauguration theme.
If Biden rams his own version through Congress without hearing what these 10 have to say, or seeking some other compromise with Republicans, he can say goodbye to bipartisanship until the mid-term elections, at least.
What Biden has promised, and what we should all be hoping for, is a government where people listen respectfully to each other, try to understand the positions of others and persuade others of their own positions, and try to put the needs of the people ahead those of their party. Here’s a chance for Biden to follow through on that promise.