Meanwhile, the administration is just two weeks away
from the beginning of an impeachment trial that will halt all other Senate business, creating even more incentive to act fast. How quickly Biden has to abandon his calls for unity in the name of getting something done amid a pandemic will set the tone for his relationship with Republicans on Capitol Hill and more broadly set the tone for his first 100 days as a President leading in a time of crisis.
The article of impeachment will be delivered around 7 p.m. ET on Monday
when House managers walk it over to the Senate chamber. Senators will be sworn in Tuesday and then there will be about a two-week break until the focus is back on impeachment. In the meantime, Democrats are going to be fighting to confirm as many of Biden’s nominations as possible. They’ll also have to decide soon about how to proceed with the organizing resolution that has been stalled for a week
. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has insisted that Democrats promise — in writing — they won’t blow up the filibuster
in the organizing resolution. Democrats don’t want to give up their leverage on it even as they argue they have no immediate plans to get rid of the filibuster.
It takes 60 votes to pass this organizing resolution. That means that McConnell is daring Democrats not to blow up the filibuster in a disagreement about whether they will promise not to blow up the filibuster. One more time: in order to pass this resolution without Republicans, Democrats would have to change the rules to allow it to pass by a simple 51-vote majority. That — in essence– would be eradicating the filibuster.
What last night told us about bipartisanship
Multiple aides CNN spoke with made it clear that Sunday’s call between a group of bipartisan senators
and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Jeff Zients and Louisa Terrell was a good first step, but there is still broad disagreement about the overall price tag of this stimulus package and what’s actually needed.
Everyone acknowledges more money for testing and vaccines is essential. But a $15 minimum wage? Billions in state and local funding? $1,400 stimulus checks? Multiple aides told CNN that senators on both sides argued they needed more data as to why nearly $2 trillion was the right choice. They just passed a more than $900 billion package
a month ago. One Republican aide told CNN that it wasn’t just Republicans balking at that number, but that some of the Democrats on the call were also “cool” on spending so much. Checks, they argued, needed to be more targeted. If a fight over a stimulus bill’s price tag sounds familiar, it’s because it is. The cost of last stimulus plan bedeviled Republicans and Democrats for six months the last time Congress attempted this.
All you need to know: After the meeting, Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine who is broadly viewed as one of the most “gettable” Republican senators are on this package released a statement to CNN saying “It seems premature to be considering a package of this size and scope.”
In other words: if Biden and his team want this to be done quickly, they might have to pull the plug on their goal of getting 10…
Read More News: Covid-19 relief faces time crunch with impeachment around the corner