Via the Washington Post, the sane wing of the GOP is proposing a compromise on Biden’s proposed $1.6 trillion Covid-19 relief bill.
The group announced plans Sunday to release an approximately $600 billion coronavirus relief package as a counter-proposal to Biden’s much larger plan, posing a test for the new president who campaigned on promises to unify Congress and the country.
The senators, led by Susan Collins (R-Maine), said they would formally unveil the plan on Monday, and they requested a meeting with Biden. Biden and Collins subsequently spoke, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced late Sunday that the president had invited the 10 Republican lawmakers to the White House “for a full exchange of views.”
The meeting will take place on Monday, according to two people with knowledge of the plans who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement.
The planned meeting comes even as Democrats prepare to move forward this week to set up a partisan path for Biden’s relief bill, which Republicans have dismissed as overly costly given some $4 trillion Congress has already committed to fighting the pandemic, including $900 billion in December.
They can exchange all the views they want, and it certainly is a better approach than not even being open to discussion. But I would rather that the president stick to his guns, however politely, and demonstrate unity by getting the GOP to come over to his side. After all, he won the election, and we have been told endlessly by the Republicans that elections have consequences and that the winner should never give an inch.
I’m sure there are some things in Biden’s proposal that could be pulled out and worked into another bill. And I’m pretty sure they stuck some things in there that are sacrificial lambs. But it would be foolish in the extreme if the Democrats were to agree to go with the GOP proposal versus their own, and I’m very sure that won’t happen.
But at least they’re willing to talk, which is better than having to negotiate via Twitter.