President Joe Biden made it clear that he wanted a bipartisan group to pass his hefty COVID-19 package, but Republicans disagree with the bill, instead proposing a much smaller bill. Now they're miffed by Biden going at it alone and without them, CNN reported.
"But Republicans, still irked by the lack of progress in the short-lived bipartisan talks, see a president who is hamstrung by both White House staff and Democrats in Congress whom they believe have far less interest in working with the GOP and seem more willing to advance their agenda without regard for the minority party," the report said. "Republicans' argument: Biden seems willing to cut a deal but won't do so because of pressure from the people around him."
But Republicans aren't blaming Biden, they're saying that it's his staff that is blocking bipartisanship.
"He seemed more willing than his staff to negotiate," CNN cited Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). She met with Biden earlier this month along with other GOP senators.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed it was the same message that Republican senators who have negotiated with Biden had.
"Our members who were in the meeting felt that the President seemed more interested in that than his staff did -- or that it seems like the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate are," McConnell said several weeks ago.
On Friday, the president issued a challenge to Republicans, "What would they have me cut? What would they have me leave out? Do we not invest $3 billion to keep families from going hungry? Do we not invest $35 billion to help people keep a roof over their heads? We have to make clear who is helped and who is hurt."
Thus far, Republicans haven't released a statement on what specifically they want to be removed from the Biden plan.
In a bipartisan stimulus option from Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), the amendment categorizes anyone making $50,000 or more "upper income," and wouldn't ensure stimulus payments. It also ignores anyone who has lost his or her job this past year, as the checks will go off of 2019 salary indicated in the tax refund.
An astronomical 68 percent of Americans support Biden's COVID package as it is, a Quinnipiac poll released in early February said.
Under the Trump White House, Republicans supported $2.2 trillion bill. Some states have complained that the restrictions in the CARES Act were so cumbersome that it took them longer than expected to understand how to use it and request what they needed. Some states, like Texas, according to the Tribune, didn't make the short deadline.
According to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Treasury Department's "confusing and evolving guidance has slowed state actions...The guidance that states and localities have sought from Treasury has been confusing and inconsistent and, since late April, has come through irregular, unannounced updates to a Treasury FAQ document."