Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Saturday called on Senate Republicans to vote in favor of the third Wuhan coronavirus relief package. She said it's a way for them to "step up."
"All of a sudden Senate Republicans say, 'It's too big.' I'm sorry. We've got tens of millions of people out of work. We've got tens of millions of people on the threshold of losing their homes," she said.
According to the senator, there are currently 23 million Americans who are unable to put food on the table. The relief package, she said, would help out families in need while also stepping up COVID vaccination production and reopening schools.
Host Tiffany Cross followed up by asking why Democrats are focused on bipartisanship instead of using their power to push for things the American people need. Warren said she hoped Republicans would join Democrats' efforts because Americans of all political ideologies are suffering due to the pandemic.
"We need everyone to have the help that they need," Warren said. "We need them to get vaccines. We need to get these schools open. But if the Republicans aren't going to do it the Democrats got elected, not to just stand around and debate in Washington. They got elected to deliver and that is exactly what we should do, get this stimulus bill passed and get it done now."
The senator said it's time for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to "step up" and rise to the occasion so a bipartisan package can be passed.
"Every day that we delay is another day of people suffering, another delay in getting the vaccines out, and another pause before we get the schools open. I want this done as soon as possible. I’m ready. I am ready to go. And I think we’ve got a lot of Democrats who are ready to go. Right now, Mitch McConnell is still digging in … There’s going to come a point that either he’s going to step up and join us, or we’re going to call his bluff. Me, I’m already at that point. We’ve got to get others on board too, though.”
“Look, right now, there are people who still want to at least give Republicans a chance to come along, and I understand that. But all of the Democrats, and I really do want to underline here all, they want to see relief. They understand the importance of getting these vaccines out. This is about life and death. They see the importance of getting our schools open. They see the importance of making sure that everyone can put food on the table and nobody gets thrown out on the street," she explained. "So, I think Democrats are in the right place. They’re trying to keep the door open to get Republicans onto the bus as well. But if Republicans aren’t going to come, we’re not going to spend much more time on this. It’s time to move now.”
Under Biden's plan, individuals making $75,000 or less and couples making $150,000 or less would receive $1,400 per person in direct cash payments. Ten GOP senators created their own proposal, which would offer more targeted payments. Under their plan, individuals making $50,000 or less and couples making $100,000 or less would receive $1,000 per person in direct cash payments. Both plans keep the extended federal unemployment benefits and provide funding for vaccine distribution.
Biden's plan would also increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25-an-hour to $15-an-hour, which is one major concern critics have.