WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The American Rescue Plan took center stage today in an evenly divided Senate.
“This country is in the midst of a once in a century crisis,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.
Schumer and U.S. Senate Democrats pushed to get President Joe Biden’s $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief bill across the finish line.
“Our mission is to crush the virus now, get our country back to normal, lay the foundation for our economy to come roaring back — roaring back,” Schumer said.
If passed, the American Rescue Plan would allocate funds for stimulus checks, reopening schools, vaccine distribution and more.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) doesn’t understand Republican opposition.
“This idea that this is some democratic wish list, when we are essentially just extending or increasing the same funding streams that were in the CARES Act is nonsense,” Murphy said.
Murphy says Republican complaints about the cost are hypocritical.
“They passed a $1.9-trillion tax bill where the majority of the benefits went to the richest Americans who needed no more help,” Murphy said.
Senate Republicans, like Mitt Romney (R-Utah), now plan on a “vote-a-rama” Thursday to propose a long series of amendments to the bill.
“With the amendment process, we’re able to cut back on some of the excesses, instead of spending massively, where it’s not needed,” Romney said.
Romney says Republicans would rather have a bill that’s focused only on helping businesses and families.
“The president’s plan is massively excessive, it needs to be cut back and focused where the need is real,” Romney said.