Shortly after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a coronavirus-related stimulus bill on Saturday morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement describing it as a “missed opportunity.”
In the statement, McConnell said the bill’s final vote, which was 219 to 212, “reflects a deliberately partisan process and a missed opportunity to meet Americans’ needs.”
“Tonight House Democrats snapped that bipartisan streak. They jammed through a bill that even liberal economists and editorial boards say is not well-targeted to this stage of the fight,” he added, as CNN reports. “More than a third of its spending, including more than 90% of the K-12 school funding, would not even go out this fiscal year.”
As McConnell referenced, the bill did not pass with bipartisan support as it was exclusively supported by Democrats. Two Democrats actually broke with leadership and voted against its passage.
“After Republicans led five bipartisan bills last year, Democrats have chosen the polar opposite. When Senate Republicans went to the White House to suggest cooperation, President Biden’s team said no thanks,” he continued. “The White House Chief of Staff admits this liberal wish-list is ‘the most progressive domestic legislation in a generation.’ So much for common sense and common ground.
The House’s partisan vote reflects a deliberately partisan process and a missed opportunity to meet Americans’ needs. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/AhM58wcIGK
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) February 27, 2021
CNN reports Republicans offered alternatives to the bill, including an option that was cheaper for taxpayers and focused on coronavirus-related relief, but Democrats were unwavering in their demands.
From the report:
Republicans had made a last ditch attempt to deter Biden from going it alone with just Democratic support for the $1.9 trillion relief bill and instead continue to work on a bipartisan deal.
A group of Senate Republicans had pitched a counteroffer of a roughly $600 billion plan they felt was a more targeted approach, and the President met with them for two hours in the Oval Office earlier this month.
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But Biden later said while he’s open to working with Republicans to make his bill “cheaper,” he isn’t willing to compromise much on its content.
Immediately following the bill’s passage, President Biden praised Democratic lawmakers for getting “our economy moving again.”
“If we act now, decisively, quickly and boldly, we can finally get ahead of this virus. We can finally get our economy moving again, and the people of this country have suffered far too much for too long,” he said via CNN. “We need to relieve that suffering.”