Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) on Monday slammed a Wuhan coronavirus relief bill brought forth by 10 Republican Senators. According to Schumer, Americans need a far more "bold and robust" plan.
"Facing these multi-faceted challenges of a scale and scope of any large event in the last 100 years, Congress must pursue a bold and robust course of action," Schumer said from the Senate floor. "It makes no sense to pinch pennies when so many Americans are struggling. The risk of doing too little is far greater than the risk of doing too much."
Schumer said the Congress is going to follow Treasury Secretary Yellen's suggestion to "act big," a sign that Democrats refuse to consider Republicans' counteroffer.
Sen. Chuck Schumer: "It makes no sense to pinch pennies when so many Americans are struggling." pic.twitter.com/Gcvwz9y9En— The Hill (@thehill) February 1, 2021
Not long after leaving the Senate floor, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) filed a joint budget resolution to enact the American Rescue Act, President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan. If both chambers pass an identical bill, Biden doesn't have to sign it into law. This is the first step in bypassing Republicans and passing the relief bill on a strictly partisan basis.
“Congress has a responsibility to quickly deliver immediate comprehensive relief to the American people hurting from COVID-19,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. “The cost of inaction is high and growing, and the time for decisive action is now. With this budget resolution, the Democratic Congress is paving the way for the landmark Biden-Harris coronavirus package that will crush the virus and deliver real relief to families and communities in need. We are hopeful that Republicans will work in a bipartisan manner to support assistance for their communities, but the American people cannot afford any more delays and the Congress must act to prevent more needless suffering.”
The announcement came on the heels of Biden's meeting with a handful of the Senate Republicans who offered a counteroffer. Biden has said he was willing to negotiate with the GOP to come to a compromise.