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White House calls on senators to gain bilateral support for Covid-19

The call, scheduled for 3 p.m. EST, is part of the administration’s efforts to build bilateral support for the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package devised in the U.S. rescue plan, which Biden considered a top legislative priority in the early days of its mandate. Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, will host the invitation with 16 senators – eight Democrats and eight Republicans.

“President Biden and his advisers will continue to engage and consult bipartisan groups of legislators, including today, to make the case that urgent action is needed to alleviate the affected communities and families and provide more resources for public health officials. so we can get vaccinated, “a White House spokesman told CNN.

CNN reported that the proposal to stimulate Biden was already facing Republican objections, and Senate Democrats were laying the groundwork for a rare procedural tactic known as reconciliation to accept most of the package if Republicans stopped their efforts.

Pressed earlier Sunday whether the president would agree to a bilateral agreement to adopt the package amid growing reports of Republican concerns, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein said the administration wanted the proposal swiftly accepted, but both sides engaged. it is not the “enemy” of speed.

“We’re talking to people,” Klein said. “I don’t think bilateralism and speed are enemies of each other. The need is urgent.”

Deese told reporters Friday that the goal was “to appeal to members of Congress on both sides to justify the rescue plan and commit to them (and) understanding their concerns,” a mandate from Biden himself.

Among those invited to join Republican senators is Utah’s Mitt Romney, who told CNN’s Dana Bash in The State of the Union earlier Sunday that while he wanted to hear what the White House had to say about his proposal, he worries about the prospect of the US borrowing more money “for things that may not be absolutely necessary.”
The White House wants Democrats to be patient in stimulus talks, while Biden insists on a bipartisan path, officials say

But the senator noted that “Republicans like me have demonstrated that we are open to compromise” and “have demonstrated the ability to compromise.”

Responding later to the same program to Utah senator’s comments, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a non-Vermont independent who spoke with Democrats, told Bash, “Well, I don’t know what the word compromise means. I know working families are alive today. in greater economic despair than the Great Depression. And if Republicans are willing to work with us to deal with this crisis, welcome. Let’s do it. “

But Democrats, he said, cannot “wait weeks and weeks and months and months to move forward.” According to CNN, Sanders is not among the senators invited to the White House invitation.

Sanders, the upcoming chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, has voiced support for Democrats using reconciliation to accept major parts of the aid package if Republicans stand in the way.

“We will use reconciliation – that’s 50 votes in the Senate, plus the vice president – to pass legislation desperately needed by working families in that country right now,” he said, shrugging his shoulders at the possibility of Republicans not supporting the package.

Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingley of CNN contributed to this report.

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