W.H. Press Secretary Dunks On GOP At Friday Press Conference

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The Biden administration is not interested in waiting around for Republicans before seeing its COVID-19 relief package through to completion. The House and Senate have been working through procedural resolutions that would allow the relief package to be enacted without any Republican support at all thanks to the slim control of both chambers of Congress by Democrats. A selection of Republican Senators have proposed lesser relief measures, but it’s unclear whether any Republicans will ultimately vote in favor of the planned relief. When the Senate passed the procedural resolution clearing the way for the relief package this week, not a single Republican voted in support.

On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki memorably dismissed concerns about the lack of Republican support for the relief measures. As she put it, Biden didn’t run on a promise to “unite the Democratic and Republican Party into one party.” Psaki commented as follows:

‘We still keep the door open to seek ideas, ideas to make the package stronger from any Republican or other Democrats who want to bring them forward… The president ran on unifying the country and putting forward ideas that would help address the crises we’re facing. He didn’t run on a promise to unite the Democratic and Republican Party into one party in Washington. This package has the vast majority of support from the American public. This is something that people want — they want to see it pass. They want these checks to get into communities. They want this funding to go to schools. They want more money for vaccine distribution.’

In other words, Republican equivocating isn’t exactly going to have as much sway as Republicans might be hoping for. Watch her comments below:

As Psaki referenced, the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief proposals have broad levels of support among Americans. In a recent Quinnipiac University survey, almost 70 percent of respondents overall said that they supported the $1.9 trillion relief package that the Biden administration has put forward, and that number included a full 37 percent of Republican respondents who said that they supported the overall plan. On a similar note, a full 64 percent of Republican respondents said that they supported the proposed $1,400 direct payments to many Americans.

At another point in her Friday press conference, Psaki memorably addressed concerns about using the so-called budget reconciliation process for passing COVID-19 relief. The budget reconciliation mechanism for passing legislation means that bills only need a simple majority of Senate support to pass. As Psaki put it, Americans “are frankly not too worried about what parliamentary procedure gets them relief, gets shots in people’s arms, and reopens schools.”

Watch below: