Senator Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) On Sunday defended the COVID-19 relief proposal that passed the Senate without Republican support Saturday, saying the measure does not mark the end of two-party hips, as Republicans “had a huge amount of input.”
The Moderate Democrat’s remarks came during a review by ABC This week in response to a question from co-anchor Martha Raddatz about whether bipartisanship appears to be “like a false hope” after “Biden did not get a single Republican vote for an aid package in the midst of a pandemic.”
“Not at all,” Manchin replied. “The first group of people President Biden brought to the White House was ten of my friends and colleagues, ten Republicans, to see what their idea was.”
He added that the group of GOP legislators “came up with a proposal”, but Biden “thought we should do much more.”
“It’s his power, and I support him with that, but with that, we had an awful lot of input from Republican friends throughout this process,” he said. “Many of the changes we made, and which were fundamentally brought into this process, came by working with my Republican and Democratic colleagues together.”
“They had a huge amount of input, they just couldn’t get there in the end,” he said.
In January, ten Republicans, including Senators Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah) and Rob Portman (Ohio) suggested their own framework for the COVID-19 aid package and called on Biden to work with them in drafting the legislation.
The group had proposed a smaller, more targeted $ 600 billion. Emergency bill compared to Biden’s sweeping $ 1.9 trillion proposal that passed the Senate by a simple majority on Saturday after Democrats chose to use the budget vote to push the bill through without Republican support.
At the time, Portman noted that any final plan that Republicans would agree to would be “less than $ 1.9 [trillion] because much of what the administration has put in has nothing to do with COVID-19. ”
The bill, which eventually passed the Senate, includes $ 130 billion in funds for K-12 schools designed to help districts reduce class sizes to accommodate social distances, improve ventilation systems and make other changes. A measure introduced by Senator Maggie Hassan (D., NH) requires schools that receive support to provide reopening plans within 30 days. However, the exemption proposal does not provide for schools to be reopened for personal learning.
It also contains $ 1,400 checks for Americans earning less than $ 75,000 a year, while married couples earning $ 150,000 or less receive two checks. Payments are being phased out for individuals earning $ 80,000 and married couples earning $ 160,000.
Federal unemployment benefits will continue at $ 300 per month. Week until September 6, according to the law – the result of a compromise after Manchin protested against a boost of $ 400 per. Week until October, as the House Democrats wanted.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) Criticized the bill and its passage. “The Senate has never spent $ 2 trillion in a more dangerous way or through a less stringent process,” McConnell said.
The legislation now returns to Parliament, which must prove the Senate’s version of the bill before sending it to President Biden’s desk.