Biden pitched his $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal shortly after his inauguration and has been working to muster support for it since, or to find compromise to facilitate a bipartisan deal.
Last week, a budget resolution was passed which could allow Democrats to use reconciliation to get through Congress without Republican support—though Biden has long spoken of his desire for bipartisan action if possible.
However, he has also insisted he wants to act “boldly and urgently”—reiterating this on Monday.
“We don’t have a second to waste when it comes to delivering the American people the relief they desperately need,” the president tweeted.
“I’m calling on Congress to act quickly and pass the American Rescue Plan.”
Following the budget resolution vote and a number of amendments being backed, though these are not binding, committees are now to write up the specifics of the legislation.
Reconciliation would allow Democrats to push plans through the Senate with only a simple majority of 51, which they can get through their caucus and Vice President Kamala Harris‘ tie-breaking vote.
In terms of potential compromise on Biden’s plans, the matter of stimulus check eligibility has been a divisive point—with Republican’s calling for the criteria to be tightened, meaning less people would receive the payments.
While Biden has rejected the suggestion of knocking down the amount given in checks from $1,400, he has expressed openness to flexibility on the parameters of who gets them.
The president’s call for relief focus comes with the Senate due to turn their focus on Trump’s trial that begins on Tuesday.
As previously reported by Newsweek, it has been speculated that this could draw attention away from Joe Biden’s agenda in the early days of his presidency.
However, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have spoken of their desire for the trial to be conducted swiftly so as to allow focus to go back to other matters of importance—such as the stimulus package. It has been suggested proceedings could be wrapped up in a matter of days.
The former president faces his second impeachment trial following the backlash over his actions surrounding the violence at the Capitol on January 6.
While he has been condemned by a number of Republicans, the odds of a number great enough voting to convict him in the Senate appears slim. In a previous vote on the constitutionality of the Senate trial after Trump’s time in office, most GOP senators voted to state they think it is unconstitutional. Only five Republicans voted the other way.
For Trump to be convicted, 17 GOP senators would have to vote for this along with all Democratic senators so as to pass the two-third threshold.
Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment on the president’s latest stimulus comments.
Originally published at https://www.newsweek.com/joe-biden-urges-congress-focus-covid-stimulus-relief-1567590 on .