Jen Psaki: No ‘substantive’ proposal back from GOP on COVID relief

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday that President Biden is open to hearing ideas on how to improve his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package but that Republicans aren’t being terribly cooperative.

“We have not seen a substantive, big proposal in response back from Republicans,” Ms. Psaki said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This is the scope of the problem and the scope of the kind of package that we need to pass to address that.”

She said tweaking the income limits on who receives direct checks of up to $1,400 per person for millions of Americans is one area of compromise Democrats and Republicans have both mentioned.

“What he will not do, though, is make this a Washington political, partisan issue and prevent the American people from getting the relief they need,” she said.

Senate Republicans who made a $618 billion counter-offer to the White House said talks with Mr. Biden’s administration have essentially ground to a halt.

The House passed its $1.9 trillion relief package just after 2 a.m. Saturday. That bill includes $350 billion for states and localities, expanded unemployment benefits through August, and additional money for coronavirus vaccines and testing, among other items.

House Republicans tried a last-minute push to shift $140 million for a transit project near Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district into mental health funding for children, but were rebuffed.

The House bill passed with zero Republican yes votes. Two Democrats voted against it.

It appears likely that the package that ends up on Mr. Biden’s desk will have passed without support from a single Republican member of the House or Senate.

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