Ohio Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variants spread in US; Redditors shake Wall Street with Gamestop stock The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Which path will Democrats take on COVID-19 bill? Democrats ready to bypass Republicans on COVID-19 relief bill MORE (R) said Sunday that Republicans will push the Biden administration to target direct payments to Americans making less than $50,000 per year in the upcoming COVID-19 stimulus package.
Speaking with Dana BashDana BashBiden’s bipartisan push hits wall on COVID-19 relief bill Senators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows – Biden agenda, Trump impeachment trial dominate MORE on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the retiring senator called on Democrats not to push the White House’s COVID-19 framework through Congress via the budget reconciliation process, which would allow a simple majority vote for passage, and to work with Republicans on a smaller stimulus package.
“My hope is the president will meet with us,” Portman said, adding that Republicans have had little success in their attempts to meet with the Biden administration to present their priorities for the next stimulus package.
“This one, nobody was consulted, including the Democrats on our bipartisan group that compiled the previous legislation, and, frankly, we haven’t gotten much of a response yet until today,” he added.
Bash then asked how much Republicans would be willing to spend on a COVID-19 stimulus package, noting that a letter released Sunday by Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBiden reignites immigration fight in Congress Paul says Roberts’s absence ‘crystalized’ argument against Trump impeachment Democrats ready to bypass Republicans on COVID-19 relief bill MORE‘s (R-Maine) office and signed by Portman did not put an exact dollar amount on the GOP proposal.
“It’ll be less than $1.9 [trillion] because a lot of what the administration has released has nothing to do with COVID-19,” Portman responded.
“Let’s target it. We really want to help those who need it the most,” he continued, adding that Democrats should not “poison the well” by pushing the plan through without Republican votes.
“It’s not in the interest in the Democratic Party to do that,” he said.
Congressional Democrats and Republicans came together in December and pushed through a smaller stimulus package that included an extension of federal unemployment benefits and direct payments of $600 to individual American adults.