Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy suggested that the Covid relief figure should not be “predetermined” and based on data shortly after his meeting with President Joe Biden.
“If we are driven by data, we will get the right number,” Cassidy told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” during an interview Monday night. “That number shouldn’t be predetermined.”
Biden had a face-to-face meeting with 10 Republican senators, including Cassidy, on Monday. GOP Senators have introduced a $ 618 billion bailout bill, less than a third the price of Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion bailout.
The direct payments are lower, and those payments expire at a lower income threshold of $ 40,000 for individuals. There is also no funding for state and local governments, which was a major sticking point for Democrats.
Republicans have advocated a “targeted approach” when it comes to relief. Cassidy told host Shepard Smith that he was “a great advocate for state and local aid” but “needs to have data”.
“The Republicans offered something a little more focused, but another thing they have in common is that it’s data,” Cassidy said. “What does the data show that we need? And the president will have his staff come back to us and we will compare our data points.”
If 10 Republican Senators join the Democrats on an aid package from Covid, they would overcome the filibuster.
Cassidy told host Shepard Smith that after meeting Biden, Americans should be “more optimistic” about a two-party deal, but noted that “nothing is guaranteed in this process, as our founding fathers set it up”.