Democrats have rejected a Republican pitch to split President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue plan into smaller chunks.
Despite Biden’s calls for unity, Democrats say the stubbornly high unemployment numbers and battered economy leave them unwilling to waste time courting Republican support or curbing the size of the package.
The bill would offer money for vaccines, help reopen schools and give $1,400 direct payments to most Americans. Biden has been appealing directly to Republican and Democratic lawmakers while signaling his priority to press ahead.
Biden signed an executive order directing the “Obamacare” HealthCare.gov insurance markets to take new applications for subsidized benefits, something the Trump administration had refused to do, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar reports.
He also instructed his administration to consider reversing other Trump administration health care policies, including curbs on abortion counseling and the imposition of work requirements for low-income people getting Medicaid.