When 10 GOP Senators went to the White House on Monday night, their options were limitless. President Joe Biden had already detailed his $1.9 trillion plan, which features $1,400 individual checks, more unemployment payments for a longer period, essential stopgap aid to states, and a $15 minimum wage.
These Senators sent the president a letter citing his own appeal for “Unity,” and for a fleeting moment the ball was in their court. They could have proposed different priorities. They could have come up with an entirely new plan. They even could have proposed spending more. What would be the harm? That someone would save their extra $400 to pay for something in June?
And what did they do? They said $1,400 per person was too much. They said states don’t need help, which will force them to make damaging program cuts. They said, of course, that Americans don’t deserve to earn a minimum of $15 an hour.
Democrats in Congress will pass President Biden’s plan anyway. But we all need to be asking these Senators: Do you really think his proposals were too much for the people of your state? Unfortunately, several of them just won re-election. Nevertheless, we need to ensure that their constituents—the people of Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and West Virginia — know that their Senators don’t think they’re worth an extra $400.