The uprising, which spans the ideological spectrum from the Conservatives to the moderates at the conference, is the latest challenge for majority leader Mitch McConnell as he seeks to save the GPA’s entry bid and start talks with Democrats to reach an agreement before the August break.
“It’s a mistake,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, about the latest proposal. “I think we need to focus on not opening up the economy, but just moving trillions of dollars out of Washington. I think this bill is the wrong approach.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, said Tuesday that “there are a hundred problems with the state of the plan.”
In particular, senators blew up the administration for including $ 1.75 billion in a bill to build a new FBI building.
Republicans pushed administration officials Tuesday during a private dinner over why the money was included in the bill, which members said were not even related to the coronavirus.
“I just don’t understand it. How is it related to the coronavirus? I never understood why we were giving money to the Kennedy Center or the National Arts Foundation. During a pandemic, let’s focus on solving the problem,” said Sen. Rick. Florida Scott.
“I don’t even know why it’s there,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
“Let me tell you, I’m against non-German amendments, whether it’s financing the FBI building or, for example, whether there is a bill on the House, whether it’s tax cuts for high-paying incomes in the blue states or other non-German amendments to the housing bill like marijuana research or aiding illegal immigrants. “, – he said.
Asked about the Senate Republicans’ recall of the proposal, McConnell acknowledged the differences at his conference, telling reporters Tuesday afternoon, “Look, I think it’s obvious that I have members who are on the entire line.”
The reaction developed over months. For most of May and June, Republicans discussed how to resolve another stimulus bill. Republican senators discussed whether to give states and localities more flexibility in using stimulus dollars and whether to reduce the increase in unemployment benefits that were included in the CARES Act in the spring. But now the members are not holding back with the proposal on paper.
“I don’t want to see any new money permits,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin.
GOP Sen. Mike Brown of Indiana told reporters he did not think he could support the bill in its current form.
“I think we need to get back to Trump’s economy, not the federal government, which is trying to replace it,” Brown said.
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said he was “studying” the proposal but had problems with “a number” of provisions.
“I’ll wait and see what the final product looks like, but I’m pretty skeptical about how it seems to be formed,” Tumi said.
And it’s not just budget hawks who express their frustrations. With half a dozen Republicans to run for re-election in a tough race from Maine to Iowa, Republicans taking part in the vote say changes to the GOP entry form are needed if they are going to support it.
“We have a lot of negotiations to do,” Senator Tom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina, told reporters. “There are a number of things we are negotiating.”
These differences complicate the negotiating position for Republican leaders and the White House, as Democrats see the split as an opportunity to get more concessions from the Verkhovna Rada in future talks.
“It’s not exactly our strong hand,” said one Republican senator.
The GOP plan, unveiled by a number of Republican chairmen and members of the northern leadership in the Senate, includes new money for schools, protection of liability for hospitals, restaurants and businesses, and another round of direct incentive payments to individuals and families. But disagreements over how to structure additional unemployment benefits and include money for the new FBI building on the orders of the Trump administration have further damaged GOP support.
“It’s a starting point,” said Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio.
Several Republicans also expressed disappointment that there is no new money for state and local governments included in the original bill. This was a priority for Democrats and PP senators from the states, who have reduced their budgets due to closed business and reduced sales tax revenues.
Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana has said he wants more money for state and local governments, even if he acknowledged that the general policy bill is the beginning of negotiations, not the end.
“Obviously, I was in favor of more state and local, and I think we will do it at the end of the day,” Cassidy said.
Senator Lisa Murkowska, a Republican from Alaska, asked if there was enough funding for education in the bill. The GOP proposal provided $ 105 billion for schools, with $ 70 billion going directly to K-12 education.
“Is there anything enough money at the moment?” she asked.
It is unclear how McConnell will be able to overcome the division. McConnell will need democratic votes to pass anything and legislate. To get them, he will have to make changes that will lose his conservatives, who are already running for $ 1 trillion.
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows have already begun preliminary talks with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. These talks take place when Republican senators are uneasy about how Meadows and Mnuchin have negotiated with Democrats in the past.
“I think it’s much better if it’s members dealing with members, but that seems to be the kind of scheme we’re in,” one Republican senator said, provided he was free to discuss the outlines of the talks. “I prefer Republican senators to deal with Democrats.”
Manu Raju, Claire Foran and Phil Mattingly participated in this report.