Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has said that President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package likely won’t get a single Republican vote in the Senate, according to The Hill.
And she pointed to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and White House chief of staff Ron Klain as a major reason why bipartisan talks on the relief bill fell apart.
Collins said Tuesday that Biden’s senior advisers have refused to come down from their $1.9 trillion proposal, which GOP moderates say is far too expensive given their preference for what they call “targeted” relief.
As a result, Biden’s relief proposal, which is expected to pass the House this week and come to the Senate floor before March 14, will likely wind up passing by a straight party-line vote.
Collins told reporters: “The administration has not indicated a willingness to come down from its $1.9 trillion figure and that’s a major obstacle.”
She added: “We have indicated a willingness to come up from our $618 billion, but unfortunately the White House seems wedded to a figure that really can’t be justified given the hundreds of billions of dollars that are still in the pipeline from the December bill.”
According to Collins, she and other moderate Republicans will try to make changes to the proposal when it reaches the Senate floor, but she said in its current form, the package is unlikely to receive any GOP support.
“What we’re looking at now is whether there are changes that we could make. But I would be surprised if there was support in the Republican caucus if the bill comes out at $1.9 trillion even if we’re able to make some beneficial changes,” she said.
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