President Joe Biden met with a group of 10 GOP senators on Monday to discuss how the two parties can come together to provide Americans with much-needed financial relief amid the continuing pandemic. While Biden had incessantly bragged during the election that he would be able to use his past experience as a senator to work with the other side of the aisle, Monday’s meeting in the Oval Office did not produce anything fruitful.
Current Democratic Legislation
Biden and his administration are trying to pass through a COVID-19 relief package to the tune of a whopping $1.9 trillion. Arguing that the figure is too costly, a group of 10 GOP senators worked together to present an alternative $618 billion proposal.
After the Republican senators met with the president for two hours about the compromise, neither side seemed optimistic that there would be a breakthrough in the negotiations.
Democrats in Control
Both parties know that this attempt at bipartisan legislation is largely just political theater at this point. After sweeping the Georgia special election in early January, the Democrats now have a razor-thin margin in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote. Some individuals on the GOP side do not want their colleagues to waste valuable political capital arguing legislation that the Democrats are in control of anyway.
And there is no doubt that even if the Democrats get their wish and pass the $1.9 trillion relief package, the more liberal faction of the party will be screaming that it still was not enough.