Executive orders and a partisan passed stimulus bill without GOP input is the same old strategy of the previous administration. President Biden and Democrats want bipartisan resolve going forward. The partisan vote to push the stimulus does not show effort toward bipartisanship. The current $1.9 trillion is a big ask. That the republican lawmakers would not agree to that amount of funding is expected.
The republican counteroffer of $600 billion was far short of the Democratic request, but was a faith-based effort at bipartisan cooperation. Republicans wanted reduced dollar amounts in relief checks, unemployment weekly benefits, and shorter unemployment extensions. The $1.9 trillion was a non-negotiable part of Biden’s stimulus bill. The Republican offer contained several good points worth mentioning in their proposal.
In the first stimulus package, unemployment benefits increased by $600 per week in addition to state checks until July; incarcerated inmates signed up for unemployment and received checks; distribution of small business loans was plagued with issues. These are a few of unresolved issues from the first stimulus that should be corrected.
Republicans sought a change in qualifications for receiving stimulus checks. Their proposal included exclusion of inmates and incarcerated people. Direct checks to individuals earning less than $40K and couples earning less than $100K was reasonable. They also wanted a lessor amount in unemployment compensation.
Working with Republicans to hammer out a bipartisan stimulus is a political goal. At this critical time Republicans and Democrats need now more than ever to include party feedback in this stimulus demonstrating bipartisan cooperation. Failure at bipartisanship now is critical more than ever in our history. Otherwise, the game remains the same partisan rhetoric that plagued our democracy the decades.
Robert Wayne Cooper