Biden suggests he would allow COVID-19 relief bill to move under 'reconciliation' with GOP support
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When asked if the president supports Democrats' calls to use a legislative process known as budget "reconciliation" to get another stimulus package expedited through Congress, Biden said, "I support passing it with support from Republicans if we can get it.
"But the relief has to pass," he added. "No ifs and or buts."
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Thursday, that the House will bring a budget resolution to the floor next week for Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package – the first step in advancing a bill through the reconciliation process.
The Senate will then vote to adopt the resolution. Budget reconciliations require only a simple majority to pass, as opposed to the 60 votes needed for most legislation. Democrats hold a majoriy in the House. The Senate is even, but Democrats have an effective majority because Vice President Kamala Harris has the tie-breaking vote.
But the $1.9 trillion resolution is unlikely to garner much Republican support, as several GOP lawmakers have already voiced concern over the large price tag and ardently opposed increasing the previous amount allotted to individual stimulus checks -- even after President Trump called on them to do so.
"I hope we don't need it, but if needed we will have it," Pelosi told reporters Thursday. "We want it to be bipartisan always, but we can't surrender."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., reiterated Pelosi’s calls for a bipartisan bill but said it will be passed "without" Republican lawmakers if they oppose the legislation.
"Our preference is to make this important work bipartisan, to include input, ideas, and revisions from our Republican colleagues or bipartisan efforts to do the same. But if our Republican colleagues decide to oppose this urgent and necessary legislation, we will have to move forward without them," Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday.