Coronavirus

Sen. Todd Young among 10 lawmakers who met with President Biden over virus aid

(WISH) — Sen. Todd Young of Indiana said President Biden spent two hours with lawmakers in the Oval Office on Monday night.

Young was one of 10 Republican lawmakers who made up that first group to visit with the president since he got into office.

Young said the tone was respectful, and they exchanged views and perspectives.

For weeks, lawmakers in Washington have gone back and forth, grappling with a massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

Republicans have resisted, instead calling for a more scaled back $618 billion plan.

Young said they agreed, for the most part, on resources required to address vaccine manufacturing, distribution, storage and administration. They also talked about getting people back to work, and kids back to school.

They disagreed on things like padding state government budgets, so they might pay for expenses unrelated to the pandemic.

Young says he thinks they found some common ground in some areas, while some other areas are open to negotiation.

“A tone was set and a predicate laid, for further consultations and negotiation at the staff level, which has begun today. Assuming we don’t come to a loggerhead, I think those negotiations will continue. Until either A) We arrive at a bipartisan proposal or B) We determine that we’re gonna have to go our separate ways, we agree to disagree, and the president and Congressional leadership will resort to a more partisan process,” Young explained in a video conference with reporters Tuesday.

Young also added, “When it comes to vaccination, getting people back to work safely and getting our children back into schools, there’s no disagreement. Areas of obvious disagreement, I’m happy to tackle those. Republicans, I think I speak for every one of our colleagues, don’t believe we should be padding the budgets of profligate state governments, so that they might pay for expenditures entirely unrelated to this COVID pandemic.”

President Biden said he wants both sides to work together on this legislation.

Young said he doesn’t know if, in the end, they will be able to come to terms on an agreement. But he said he does pledge to continue to work with the Biden administration, just as he did with the Trump administration.

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