President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday said Senate Republicans’ “fear” of President Trump — rather than principled reluctance to spend money — may be the reason COVID-19 relief talks stalled.
Biden, a senator from 1973 to 2009, said he believes the Senate may be more willing to pass another pandemic package once Trump is gone.
“I’m hoping that the reason why my friends on the other side have not stepped up to do something is because of their fear of retribution from the president, and hopefully when he’s gone, they’ll be more willing to do what they know should be done, has to be done in order to save the communities they live in,” Biden said during a webcast with frontline workers.
But Biden also took unsubtle aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who will be the most powerful Republican in Washington after Trump’s term ends.
Biden said, “Some of our friends on the Senate side are unwilling to spend the money, when we talk about states going bankrupt and having to lay off thousands upon thousands of people.” Referring to McConnell, Biden said, “One of the leaders on the other side said, ‘Well, let the states go bankrupt. Just let them go bankrupt.’ It’s not a responsible position.”
Republicans will have at least 50 seats after Biden takes office and will retain control of the Senate if they win either or both runoff elections in Georgia in January. The Democrat-led House and Republican-led Senate passed massive relief bills this year after COVID-19 caused widespread unemployment, but have been gridlocked for months on next steps.
Sources: NY Post; Image: Forbes