Maine Senator Susan Collins said on Tuesday that she believes President Joe Biden‘s $1.9 trillion stimulus package will be voted along party lines, requiring Vice President Kamala Harris to cast a tiebreaking vote.
While speaking with reporters, Collins said, “We are looking at amendments but they pretty much stalled. The administration has not indicated a willingness to come down from its $1.9 trillion figure and that’s a major obstacle.”
“We have indicated a willingness to come up from our $618 billion, but unfortunately the White House seems wedded to a figure that really can’t be justified given the hundreds of billions of dollars that are still in the pipeline from the December bill,” Collins said. “And so what we’re looking at now is whether there are changes that we could make. But I would be surprised if there was support in the Republican caucus if the bill comes out at $1.9 trillion even if we’re able to make some beneficial changes.”
Collins’ comments on Tuesday come just a day after the House Budget Committee approved Biden’s proposed coronavirus relief package, which includes $1,400 direct checks to eligible Americans and a federal minimum wage increase to $15 per hour.
Newsweek reached out to Collins for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Collins was one of the few Republican senators who met with Biden earlier this month, where Republicans proposed a $618 billion stimulus deal that provided eligible Americans with $1,000 direct checks.
While speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Collins said that Biden is “doing a good job at outreach” but added, “the problem is that…what appears to be productive talks seem to be countermanded by the Democratic leader in the Senate.”
She noted that “when we had our discussion at the White House with the 10 Republicans to present our plan, discuss it with the president, he was very attentive, gracious, into the details, there was a great discussion.”
Collins went on to criticize one aspect of Biden’s stimulus proposal that included $50 billion for “unidentified” purposes: “There was $50 billion in there, that just said unidentified. I mean, that is not acceptable.”