While Republicans cry crocodile tears and major media outlets wring their hands about the need for bipartisanship now that Democrats are in charge, the Biden/Pelosi/Schumer team is making their intentions crystal clear on what they plan to do about a COVID relief bill. Here's Biden:
Press secreatary Jen Psaki reiterated Biden's approach during her interview with Rachel Maddow.
President Biden is asked if he supports using reconciliation to pass covid relief. “I support passing covid relief with support from Republicans if we can get it. But the covid relief has to pass. No ifs, ands or buts,” he says. pic.twitter.com/3IOgmkrTme— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) January 29, 2021
"I hope we don't need it, but if needed we will have it," Pelosi told reporters on Thursday about the option of using budget reconciliation, a maneuver that can be used to pass the bill with a simple majority in the Senate. "We want it to be bipartisan always, but we can't surrender."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed those remarks.
"Our preference is to make this important work bipartisan, to include input, ideas, and revisions from our Republican colleagues or bipartisan efforts to do the same. But if our Republican colleagues decide to oppose this urgent and necessary legislation, we will have to move forward without them," Schumer said.
They couldn't be more clear—which is why I'm scratching my head trying to figure out what all of the handwringing is about. Democrats would welcome Republican support to control the pandemic and help Americans who are struggling. But whether they get that support or not, they are going to get a COVID relief bill done.