Key moderate Republicans in the Senate dismissed quick action on President Joe Biden's top priority of a $1.9 trillion economic package, indicating that the $1,400 stimulus payments he requested could take months, or never arrive, NBC News reports.
Democrats need to convince 10 Republicans in the Senate, which might require asking for less funding than Biden initially requested, or bypassing the 60-vote threshold utilizing a parliamentarian maneuver.
Biden's team appears ready to mount an aggressive campaign to get Congress to act, a departure from the previous administration that largely failed to engage lawmakers on legislative priorities and did not spend political capital on getting bills passed.
Republicans who would be critical to get to the finish line said they're open to additional money to speed up distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, but balked at Biden's overall price tag. Some called on Biden to pare back the plan while others suggested waiting a few months to see if the economic need persists.
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Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, one of the most moderate Republicans, said she's "sympathetic" to boosting vaccine funds but doesn't see the justification for a bill "that is so big."
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