White House aides push back on idea of splitting up relief package

White House aides push back on idea of splitting up relief package
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White House officials on Thursday shot down the idea of passing a proposed coronavirus relief package piece by piece amid difficulty getting Republican support for the legislation.

Multiple officials signaled the administration had no intention of breaking the $1.9 trillion package up after Politico reported in its Playbook newsletter that White House officials were prepared to pass individual portions of the larger proposal if certain pieces could garner 60 votes to pass in the Senate with GOP support.

"The needs of the American people are urgent from putting food on the table, to getting vaccines out the door to reopening schools. Those aren’t partisan issues," press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' Biden, Japan's PM focus on China, North Korea in first bilateral meeting Castro confirms he's stepping down as Cuban leader MORE tweeted. "We are engaging with a range of voices—that’s democracy in action—we aren’t looking to split a package in two."


"Despite what you may have read this morning, we aren’t planning to split the Rescue Plan in two. We believe the American people need all of the help it will provide — now," White House communications director Kate BedingfieldKate BedingfieldWhite House says Biden 'first to say' gun executive actions are 'not enough' Manchin throws cold water on using budget reconciliation 'SNL' mocks Biden trip on Air Force One stairs MORE tweeted.

"The needs of the American people aren’t partial; we can’t do this piecemeal," tweeted Brian DeeseBrian DeeseConservatives slam ties between liberal groups, White House The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden meets with bipartisan lawmakers for infrastructure negotiations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Congress returns; infrastructure takes center stage MORE, the head of the National Economic Council and one of the key administration figures involved in negotiations.

Deese and other White House officials have met in recent days with lawmakers in both parties to discuss the White House relief package, which includes funding for vaccine distribution, aid for state and local governments, money for businesses and $1,400 direct payments for most Americans.

But Republican senators in particular have indicated they do not support such a large package at this time, pointing to the relief bill Congress passed in late December. The skepticism of Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyFor a win on climate, let's put our best player in the game Personal security costs for anti-Trump lawmakers spiked post-riot The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Biden to Putin: Tough sanctions, straight talk MORE (R-Utah) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsModerates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate confirms Mallory to lead White House environment council | US emissions dropped 1.7 percent in 2019 | Interior further delays Trump rule that would make drillers pay less to feds Anti-Asian hate crimes bill overcomes first Senate hurdle MORE (R-Maine), two more moderate Republicans who are seen as potential partners for the administration, has led to questions about whether the bill will get any GOP support.

That has led to pressure to pass the bill via reconciliation, wherein Democrats could pass it with a simple majority in both chambers through a budget measure.

President BidenJoe BidenSuspect in FedEx shooting used two assault rifles he bought legally: police US, China say they are 'committed' to cooperating on climate change DC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is MORE and other White House officials have indicated they are willing to wait a couple weeks to see where negotiations lead.

"I don’t expect we’ll know whether we have an agreement or to what extent the entire package will be able to pass or not pass until we get right down to the very end of this process, which will be probably in a couple of weeks," Biden said Monday. "But the point is, this is just the process beginning."