Retiring GOP senator calls for income cap of $50,000 for stimulus payments

Ohio Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname Centrist state lawmaker enters Ohio GOP Senate primary Emboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes MORE (R) said Sunday that Republicans will push the Biden administration to target direct payments to Americans making less than $50,000 per year in the upcoming COVID-19 stimulus package.

Speaking with Dana BashDana BashManchin suggests pausing talks on .5 trillion package until 2022: report House is no easy road for Biden, Democrats on .5T package Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Manchin: key energy provision of spending package 'makes no sense' MORE on CNN's "State of the Union," the retiring senator called on Democrats not to push the White House's COVID-19 framework through Congress via the budget reconciliation process, which would allow a simple majority vote for passage, and to work with Republicans on a smaller stimulus package.

"My hope is the president will meet with us," Portman said, adding that Republicans have had little success in their attempts to meet with the Biden administration to present their priorities for the next stimulus package.

"This one, nobody was consulted, including the Democrats on our bipartisan group that compiled the previous legislation, and, frankly, we haven’t gotten much of a response yet until today," he added.

Bash then asked how much Republicans would be willing to spend on a COVID-19 stimulus package, noting that a letter released Sunday by Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike GOP senator will 'probably' vote for debt limit increase Welcome to ground zero of climate chaos MORE's (R-Maine) office and signed by Portman did not put an exact dollar amount on the GOP proposal.

“It’ll be less than $1.9 [trillion] because a lot of what the administration has released has nothing to do with COVID-19,” Portman responded.

“Let’s target it. We really want to help those who need it the most,” he continued, adding that Democrats should not "poison the well" by pushing the plan through without Republican votes.

“It’s not in the interest in the Democratic Party to do that,” he said.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans came together in December and pushed through a smaller stimulus package that included an extension of federal unemployment benefits and direct payments of $600 to individual American adults.