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(CNN)Republican leaders in both chambers are maneuvering to keep all of their members in line against the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan, a move that would deny President Joe Biden a bipartisan victory and one that could scuttle the bill in the Senate if any Democrat breaks ranks.

But the move amounts to a political risk for Republicans with polls showing clear majorities of Americans supporting an emergency rescue package and with the economy still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.
So Republicans now plan to begin an urgent public relations push to argue that the bill is bloated, poorly targeted and contains a hodgepodge of measures aimed at pleasing the Democratic base -- a message that party leaders discussed with their members at a private GOP lunch on Tuesday and that they plan to echo in the days ahead, attendees say.
    "If the Democrats continue down the path they're on, and that is to not make any attempt to try and get Republican input or ideas, it makes it hard for any of our members, even those that might be inclined to do so to vote for it, to vote for anything," said Senate Minority Whip John Thune told CNN. "So, if it's in its current contours, it's hard to see very many, if any, Republicans being for it, especially given the way the Democrats have approached it." At the lunch on Tuesday, GOP senators talked at length about the Democrats' bill, with attendees criticizing it in sharp terms. They discussed their strategy for putting Democrats in a difficult political spot when amendment votes happen next week in the Senate, while also putting forward some middle-of-the-road amendments that could attract some Democratic support, according to attendees. Read MoreAnd afterward, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the Democrats' plan as "totally partisan," while acknowledging that his party had work to do on its messaging in the face of public support for the Biden plan. All eyes on Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough as she reviews minimum wage provision in Covid relief bill"I'm sure everybody would love to get a check," McConnell said, referring to the checks of up to $1,400 for certain individuals in the proposal. "But they haven't yet learned about what else is in it and part of our job as the substantial minority, remember we're in a 50-50 Senate here, is to make sure the American people fully understand what's being proposed.' Democrats, however, argue that they have a mandate after winning the White House and the Senate and are taking urgently needed action to deliver aid to an American public suffering under the devastating toll of the ongoing pandemic. They have insisted they are willing to work with Republicans but will not water down the plan -- a lesson they say they learned from then-President Barack Obama's first stimulus plan in 2009. "Democrats remain committed to working with our colleagues from the other side of the aisle ... to improve the bill," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday. "But at the end of the day, the American people sent us here with a job to do, and the clock is ticking. Democrats will not wait to move forward with the American rescue plan." The bill -- which includes a federal minimum wage hike to $15 per hour, staggering sums for schools, states and cities, along with an extension of jobless benefits and money for vaccine distribution and nutrition assistance -- heads to the House floor by week's end where Speaker Nancy Pelosi has little margin for error since Republicans are expected to unify against it. Asked if it will hurt Republicans to oppose a politically popular bill, Thune said: "Once we get the message out there about what it includes, how much it is, what the potential impacts are on the economy, minimum wage being a good example then I think we'll see more. I think that'll change." Thune added that the GOP will focus on how the money in the proposal would be spent on schools. "I think the school reopening issue is a really hot issue - particularly in suburbia," he said.If the House passes the bill, which is expected, it then heads to the Senate next week where the rules will prevent Republicans from employing a filibuster to block it, since Democrats are using a fast-track budget process known as reconciliation to advance the plan by just 51 votes. Yet Schumer has no margin for error in the 50-50 Senate, since any single Democratic defection could bring down the centerpiece of the Biden agenda -- and at least two moderate Democratic senators have voiced concerns about the wage hike in the plan. So far, the potential GOP swing votes have lambasted Democrats to argue they've been shut out of the talks -- and have shown no willingness to vote for the proposal. 1 number that shows why the GOP should be wary of fighting against Covid-19 relief"There has been very little effort on the part of the White House to meet with us and to see if we can find a middle ground, a common ground of some kind," Sen. Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, said on Tuesday. "I think the leadership in the House and the Senate just wants to blast ahead with reconciliation without any input from Republicans at all, and that's not the way good legislation is crafted. Good legislation has both sides working on things, knocking off the edges, finding a better and better bill." Indeed, several GOP swing votes, such as Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Romney, have been irked at the White House's handling of the proposal -- and are signaling they are all but certain to vote against the plan. And in the House, Republican leaders are whipping their colleagues to fall in line -- with GOP sources predicting that they won't lose any votes on the floor when the bill is considered by the full chamber at the end of the week. Collins said on Tuesday the Biden administration won't budge from its topline price tag for the package. "I would be surprised if there were support in the Republican caucus if the bill comes out at 1.9 trillion even if we're able to make some beneficial changes."
      And Collins faulted both Schumer and White House chief of staff Ron Klain, whom she signaled out after a group of 10 GOP senators met with Biden on the matter earlier this month. "The problem is that the what appears to be productive talks, seem to be countermanded by the Democratic leader in the Senate," Collins said. After praising Biden for being "very attentive" and "gracious" at their recent meeting, Collins said: "Ron was shaking his head in the back of the room the whole time, which is not exactly an encouraging sign. I thought that was unfortunate."

      News Source: CNN

      Tags: the democrats’ house and the senate the american people republican leaders at the end margin for error said on tuesday in the proposal senate minority the white house argue the democratic the potential in the senate their members in the house heads collins said gop senators minimum wage to vote the bill the economy i think a political relief plan against

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      Lindsey Graham says Trump has ‘a dark side’ but could make GOP ‘bigger & stronger’ as he slams ‘out-of-control’ Dems

      SENATOR Lindsey Graham said Trump has 'a dark side' but could make GOP "bigger and stronger."

      Graham has also slammed "out of control" Democrats and said Biden's $1.9trillion Covid relief bill shows they are trying to "reshape America."

      5Lindsey Graham said Trump has 'a dark side' but could make GOP "bigger and stronger"Credit: Axios 5There have been calls to impeach Nancy PelosiCredit: AFP - Getty

      Speaking to Axios on HBO" he said that Donald Trump has a "dark side" but he tries to "harness the magic" because he succeeded where Republican candidates failed.

      He said: "Donald Trump was my friend before the riot. And I'm trying to keep a relationship with him after the riot. I still consider him a friend. What happened was a dark day in American history, and we're going to move forward."

      "I want us to continue the policies that I think will make America strong. I believe the best way for the Republican Party to do that is with Trump, not without Trump."

      "Mitt Romney didn't do it. John McCain didn't do it. There's something about Trump. There's a dark side and there's some magic there.

      "What I'm tryin' to do is just harness the magic.

      "To me, Donald Trump is sort of a cross between Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan and P.T. Barnum."

      "He could make the Republican Party something that nobody else I know can make it. He can make it bigger. He can make it stronger. He can make it more diverse. And he also could destroy it.

      The Senator also said that the $1.9trillion Covid relief bill shows "out of control" Democrats are trying to "reshape America."

      He told Fox News: "It took 27 hours to pass and I'm proud of my Republican colleagues for fighting back.

      "March of 2020 we passed a $1.9trillion bill the same amount of money 96 to nothing because we understood the need to fight Covid.

      5Graham slammed "out of control" DemocratsCredit: Reuters 5The Senator also said that the $1.9trillion Covid relief bill shows "out of control" Democrats are trying to "reshape America."Credit: Getty Images

      "A year later, March of 2021, the Democrats have the House, the Senate and the White House and what did we tell you?

      "If they get everything they are going to run as over, this is out of control liberalism and this is bill is most of the money is not spent this year, 90 per cent of it has nothing to do with Covid but let me give you an example of something that really bothers me.

      "In this bill, if you are a farmer, your load would be forgiven up to 120 per cent- not 100 per cent but 120 per cent of your loan if you are socially disadvantaged, if you're African-American, some other minority.

      "But if you're a white person, a white woman, no forgiveness, as reparations, what does this got to do with Covid?

      "So if you're in the farming business right now this bill forgives 120% of your loan, based on your race.

      "These people in the Congress today, the Senate on the democratic side are out of control liberals and God help us all if we don't check and balance them in 2022.

      "You've passed a Covid relief package $1.9 trillion, very partisan, 90% of the money has got nothing to do with Covid.

      5After an all-night voting session the Senate passed Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid relief billCredit: AP:Associated Press Most read in NewsFIGHT IN FLIGHTB-52s fly over Middle East as Biden 'could lose military exec power'BUBBLE TROUBLEHuge brawl breaks out in Bath & Body Works as employees fight with womanExclusiveMEGXILEMeghan may never return to UK after angering Royal Family with bombshell interviewWarningSICK ABUSEMan 'tortured & murdered girlfriend's baby before blaming her for sex abuse'SHOW ME THE MONEYWhat you need to do to get your third $1,400 stimulus check payment'SPIRALING TSUNAMI'Migrants surging into US border after Trump warned of 'disaster'

      "It's a reshaping of America."

      Meanwhile, there have been calls to impeach Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, after the House's voting rights act passed without a single Republican vote on Wednesday.

      A petition has garnered more than 840,000 signatures online.

      Lindsey Graham slams Dems as 'out-of-control liberals'

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