Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) believes a bipartisan COVID-19 relief deal worth around $1 trillion could be struck swiftly if his fellow Democrats get behind it.
Manchin, like President Joe Biden, has spoken of his desire for a future package to receive support from both sides of the aisle, despite Democrats in Congress also considering means to force through plans without this.
Earlier this week, Biden met with a group of 10 GOP senators pitching a $618 framework for relief—having touted a $1.9 trillion proposal of his own.
Manchin spoke of the possibility of something in the middle being hit, in a discussion with the Bipartisan Policy Center.
“It won’t be bipartisan 1.9 [trillion dollars]. I’m ok personally, but I’m realistic,” Manchin said, suggesting he himself would support such a spend if the need could be demonstrated.
“But it could be somewhere a heck of a lot north of 600 [billion dollars], and it’ll be south of 1.9. So why won’t they even talk about that? You mean it’s 1.9 or nothing?”
He spoke of his concern that if the push was done in a partisan manner, there would be no hope for bipartisanship on other points down the line.
Jason Grumet, of the Bipartisan Policy Center, spoke of a $1 trillion proposal the center had released.
“We can get a trillion-dollar bipartisan deal tonight,” Manchin said, after the $1 trillion figure was raised.
“That’s not what my side of the aisle wants, my side wants 1.9.”
Manchin has previously expressed a desire for compromise, backing the suggestion that the eligibility criteria for stimulus checks could be tightened.
Biden has also been reportedly open to this, despite polling indicating it would be against the public’s wishes. Polling has shown Americans want Biden to support the criteria remaining the same over facilitating a bipartisan deal.
The framework from the Republican senators suggested this criteria shift, as well as taking the check amount down from $1,400 to $1,000. However, Biden is firm on wanting $1,400 to remain the amount distributed.
Manchin previously said he is confident $1,400 stimulus checks would be distributed, but with the eligibility thresholds tightened.
Previous payments have gone in full to individuals earning $75,000 per year or less. The Republican framework suggests this being cut to $50,000 or less.
While there have been discussions over a bipartisan deal, Democrats have also looked to move forward with budget reconciliation which could potentially allow them to get Biden’s plans through without Republican support.
Newsweek has contacted Manchin for further comment.
Originally published at https://www.newsweek.com/joe-manchin-1-trillion-stimulus-package-bipartisan-1567042 on .