CNN Analyst Rachael Bade said Tuesday that there is a divide among Democrats in the Senate over whether or not they should work with Republicans on a bipartisan basis to pass legislation, or if they should focus on driving a partisan Democratic agenda.
Bade appeared on “Inside Politics” and was asked by host John King if Democrats in the Senate who want President Joe Biden to “go big and go bold” would be willing to give him “a little bit of grace” to work with Republicans on legislation, specifically a coronavirus relief package. (RELATED: Biden Chief Of Staff Dodges Question On Whether Administration Would Consider Tabling Minimum Wage Increase)
“Clearly this tension is already sort of bubbling toward the surface, right. You have Democrats who want to move quickly and who are sort of rolling their eyes privately at President Biden when he talks about bipartisanship,” Bade responded. “Clearly there is a divide here. I mean, the interesting thing, I think, to watch will be it’s not just Republicans who have expressed concern about this $2 trillion package. Over the weekend there were a couple of Democrats who also expressed concern with the price tag.”
Biden announced his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan on Jan. 14, which includes $2,000 direct payments to Americans as well as an extension to enhanced unemployment benefits.
Also included is an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, which has been a major Democratic policy point objective. Many Republicans have expressed their concerns over the cost of the bill, as well as some of the smaller policy points like the minimum wage increase.
Bade then pointed out that Democrats could have their own “internal problems” if they try to move forward on a partisan basis. West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Maine Independent Sen. Angus King have both expressed concern over certain parts of the bill.
“Perhaps that’s why Biden is trying to see can they do maybe a smaller package that’s more bipartisan, that can move together, because if they just say ‘forget the Republicans, we’re going to do this on a Democratic basis,’ they are still going to have some internal negotiating to do on things like increasing minimum wage, how big are the checks going to be. And it’s going be a lot of debate internally with Democrats,” Bade concluded.