Sen. Marco Rubio is criticizing President-elect Joe Biden’s stimulus plan as overly ambitious.
“President-Elect Biden served in the Senate for over 35 years. So he knows the plan he outlined tonight can’t pass ‘quickly’ and will delay the 2K for hard hit Americans,” Rubio tweeted Tuesday evening. “Let’s get the extra money to people first.”
The message from Florida’s senior Senator could prove pivotal as Rubio is one of few Republicans in the Senate who publicly favored $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans, as opposed to the $600 just released as part of the most recent COVID-19 relief package.
Biden’s plan calls for sending an added $1,400 check to reach that high-dollar amount, but ties the boost with an aggressive vaccination plan. Notably, Rubio didn’t rule out voting in favor of the Biden plan, but predicted a bumpy road ahead in a divided Senate.
More notable as it relates to Rubio’s critique, Biden’s plan ties relief to Democratic policy initiatives such as increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, expanding paid leave for workers, and increasing tax credits for families with children.
That may sail through the Democrat-controlled House, but in the deeply deliberative Senate could prove problematic.
Democrats recently won two Georgia Senate seats, and so will take control of the Chamber on Jan. 20. But it will be a 50-50 divided body with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris set to cast a tie-breaking vote on the majority caucus.
Major legislation frequently needs a super-majority of 60 votes to easily bypass procedural roadblocks like the filibuster.
Rubio earlier this month sent a letter to Biden urging support of a clean bill to increase stimulus checks without connecting the matter to other legislative issues.
“All too often, popular and necessary legislation is used as leverage to secure passage for policies that cannot pass on their own merit,” Rubio wrote. “We have already seen it in the midst of the pandemic when additional funding for small businesses was blocked repeatedly for months on end.
“Please do not allow direct payments to the American people to get caught up in the normal political games by adding a wish list of far left or other unrelated priorities to this legislation.”