Biden to push for more coronavirus relief, setting up a clash with GOP
By Annie Linskey and Mike DeBonis
Republicans brimmed with pride over the $900 billion stimulus package taken up by Congress on Monday, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) calling it “a historic bipartisan rescue package” and Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska) predicting it would be remembered when “the history of this challenging year is written.”
President-elect Joe Biden saw it differently, calling the deal merely a “down payment.”
Biden’s assessment, made repeatedly in recent weeks, echoes the view of many Democrats who see the bill as the beginning of a negotiation, not the end. The notion that more aid is necessary — Biden at times has said talks should start as early as January — sets up perhaps the first major legislative test for the new president and his self-proclaimed negotiating skills.
It’s a challenge made greater now that Congress has approved new spending in the areas where common ground was relatively easy to find. There is also an expectation that many Republicans will become more skeptical of big-ticket spending after President Trump leaves the White House.