Georgia Sens. Raphael Warnock (D) and Jon Ossoff (D), both of whom won January runoff elections on the promise of a Democratic senate passing another round of direct coronavirus payments, have pushed their caucus for speedy action on the issue, The Washington Post reported.
By Zack Budryk
Both Warnock and Ossoff in a lunchtime call with Senate Democrats and White House economic advisers Thursday described the pledge as pivotal to their respective victories, according to the newspaper.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said the general consensus in the meeting was the need for quick, decisive action on another round of coronavirus relief.
“My strong impression was that there is general unanimity, and it’s strong that we need to be bold and decisive, particularly in putting shots and putting vaccines in people’s arms and putting money in people’s pockets and putting kids back to school,” Blumenthal said, according to the Post.
“And one way to put money in people’s pockets is to fulfill our promises on stimulus payments.”
White House participants in the call included senior adviser Anita Dunn, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Jeff Zients, the administration’s point man on the coronavirus response.
The meeting occurred the same day that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House and the Senate were set to vote on a budget resolution next week.
“By the end of the week we will be finished with the budget resolution, which will be about reconciliation if we need it,” she told reporters, according to the Post.
Under reconciliation, the resolution could pass the chamber with a simple majority if every Democratic senator and Vice President Harris vote for it.
“I do think we have more leverage to get cooperation on the other side if they know we have an alternative,” Pelosi said.
The Hill has reached out to Warnock’s and Ossoff’s offices and the White House for comment.