Next round of COVID-19 relief could get stalled in the Senate

Coronavirus

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It was a promise made by Democrats, another round of stimulus checks.

But now that President Biden has taken office, it’s up in the air if his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill will pass.

While Democrats have control of the House and Senate, they need 60 votes to avoid a filibuster in the Senate. That would require ten Republicans, and so far there’s been some push back.

The main sticking point: that nearly $2 trillion price tag on the heels of that $900 billion relief package.

Republicans like Senator Susan Collins of Maine said she is sympathetic to increasing vaccine funding but doesn’t see a need for legislation, quote “that is so big.”

Michael Janks from Chicopee believes more needs to go towards the vaccine rollout, but he’s concerned about the long-term effects.

“I have to work so I put that hand in hand with this whole stimulus factor and I get it the first time it was great for families but you start to see it adding up and it just being a larger deficit in the long run,” Janks said.

Democrats would need to convince 10 Republicans in the Senate, which could mean cutting down on parts of the bill. Or going around that 60 vote threshold using the reconciliation process for budgetary provisions.

Brian Deese, the director of Biden’s National Economic Council, plans to speak with a bipartisan group of senators, including Collins, before Monday.

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