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A group of 10 Republican senators who met with President BidenJoe BidenIran espionage-linked ship attacked at sea Biden exceeds expectations on vaccines — so far Jill Biden to visit Alabama with actress Jennifer Garner MORE for his first official Oval Office visit on Feb. 1 said Wednesday the Biden administration “roundly dismissed our effort” to reach a bipartisan compromise on a COVID-19 relief package.


The 10 lawmakers issued a joint statement pushing back on President Biden’s criticism earlier in the day that the group of mostly moderate Republicans “didn’t move an inch” from their proposal to spend $618 billion on the pandemic relief package Congress passed last months.

Democrats ultimately passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was largely based on Biden’s original proposal, without a single Republican vote in the Senate or House.

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerLake Superior State University first to offer cannabis chemistry scholarship Capitol Police officer killed in car attack will lie in honor in Rotunda From steel to fiber, libraries are American infrastructure MORE (D-N.Y.) used the budget reconciliation process to pass the bill through the Senate with a simple-majority vote.

“The administration roundly dismissed our effort as wholly inadequate in order to justify its go-it-alone strategy,” the senators said in their statement.

“Fewer than 24 hours after our meeting in the Oval Office, the Senate Democratic Leader began the process for triggering reconciliation which precluded Republican participation allowed the package to pass without a single Republican vote,” they said.

The group of Republican senators, led by Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden, McConnell agree on vaccines, clash over infrastructure 2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet Republicans don't think Biden really wants to work with them MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann Murkowski2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet Haaland on public lands drilling: Taxpayers deserve 'a return on their investment' Republicans don't think Biden really wants to work with them MORE (Alaska), Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden touts March jobs gain as recovery accelerates Jayapal: Republicans 'not actually interested in bipartisanship' Republicans don't think Biden really wants to work with them MORE (Utah), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHillicon Valley: Intel heads to resume threats hearing scrapped under Trump | New small business coalition to urge action on antitrust policy | Amazon backs corporate tax hike to pay for infrastructure Senators call for update on investigations into SolarWinds, Microsoft hacks Former Ohio health director won't run for Senate MORE (Ohio) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoAmerica's infrastructure: You get what you pay for Republicans don't think Biden really wants to work with them House Freedom Caucus chair objects to infrastructure proposal MORE (W.Va.) issued the statement to rebut Biden’s claim that they weren’t willing to compromise.

“A Republican group came to see me. And they started off at $600 billion, and that was it,” Biden told reporters Wednesday when asked if he would fail to fulfill his promise of bringing bipartisanship to Washington if Republicans again vote in unison against his $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan.

The president said he was prepared to craft a bipartisan pandemic relief package but Republican lawmakers refused to give any ground.

“I would’ve been prepared to compromise, but they didn’t. they didn’t move an inch. Not an inch,” he said.

The GOP senators noted Wednesday that their $618 billion proposal “included the core COVID relief elements of the Biden administration’s plan,” such as providing $160 billion o support vaccines and testing.

They also pointed out that they offered to increase the size of the package to $650 billion to increase the size of proposed stimulus checks.

The clash between Biden and GOP senators bodes poorly for the prospect of his Build Back Better infrastructure plan picking up much bipartisan support.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer gets his game changer Progressives fear infrastructure's climate plans won't survive Senate Biden credits McConnell for urging Republicans to get vaccinated MORE (R-Ky.) has attacked the first tranche of Biden’s infrastructure agenda as a “Trojan horse” for tax increases and a litany of liberal priorities, predicting it won’t pick up Republican support in the Senate. 

Tags Shelley Moore Capito Charles Schumer Mitch McConnell Lisa Murkowski Susan Collins Rob Portman Mitt Romney Joe Biden

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Tags: republicans don’t don’t think biden infrastructure republicans don didn’t move ’t think biden republicans the biden administration don’t think pandemic relief package they didn’t republican senators infrastructure plan mitch mcconnell the package lisa murkowski to compromise republican in the senate gop senators the group a bipartisan the group on vaccines oval office prepared

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Arkansas Legislature Passes Bills Tightening Signature Verification, Absentee Ballot Requests

by Andrew Trunsky


Arkansas became the latest state to pass a series of voting reforms this week, sending multiple bills to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk.

The bills, overwhelmingly passed by the state’s Republican legislature, focus on in-person and absentee voting, while a third transfers additional authority to county election commissioners instead of local clerks. Hutchinson has not publicly said whether he plans to sign them.

The Arkansas Senate passed HB 1715 Tuesday, which prohibits clerks from sending unsolicited absentee ballots to voters and requires them to report how many absentee ballot applications they receive each day. It also requires a voter’s signature to match their signature from when they first registered to vote, and forbids county clerks from providing a ballot if they do not match.

While advocates have said that signature verification is critical to preventing voter fraud, critics have argued that signatures change over time due to an array of factors including age and injury, and warn that requiring an exact match could lead to legal voters having their absentee ballots discarded or their request for one denied.

Another bill, SB 486, prohibits any person from being within 100 feet of a polling place unless they are there for “lawful purposes,” like voting or tabulating ballots. Critics have likened it to a controversial piece of Georgia’s election bill that prohibits most people from handing out food or water to voters waiting in line, but supporters say that it reinforces efforts to prevent electioneering, which is already illegal under state law.

The bill passed the state House Tuesday 74-23.

The Arkansas House also passed SB 487 Tuesday by a vote of 87-2. The bill revokes county clerks’ authority to pick voting centers and transfers it to county election commissioners.

The bills are a few of many introduced by Republicans in state legislatures across the country. While they have said that they are necessary to preserve the integrity of elections, Democrats argue that they are an effort to make voting harder for more Americans following President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

The bills also follow months of false claims from former President Donald Trump that the 2020 was “rigged” and “stolen.”

Hundreds of corporations and high-profile individuals have come out against the Republican-led bills. Major League Baseball moved its All-Star Game out of Georgia, where Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill overhauling the state’s elections into law in March.

– – –

Andrew Trunsky is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Asa Hutchinson” by Asa Hutchinson.





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