Feb 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden's grand plan

Mike Allen
Joe Biden with Harris and Schumer in Oval Office
President Biden meets yesterday with Vice President Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democratic senators. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool via Getty Images

President Biden told Republican senators he has "an open door and an open mind" on his $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan. But he already has the votes, and overwhelming support in the country.

Why it matters: Well, power matters. And Biden holds all of it.

Get used to this. Democrats are gleeful as they watch the media fixate on family feuds inside the GOP, while Biden pushes out executive orders and pushes through this bill on his terms. 

  • Biden embraces the reality that the two numbers that matter most to his presidency are coronavirus cases falling and economic growth rising. 

Steve Ricchetti, counselor to the president and longtime Biden confidant, was in the Oval this week for meetings with Republican and Democratic senators, and told me that the president "reaffirmed and deepened his explanation and commitment on the numbers and the substance" of the full package.

  • Ricchetti said Biden made it clear that he welcomes "fine-tuning or amendments or recommendations," but "underscored that he’s committed to his plan and to the elements he outlined" — and to moving quickly.

What we're watching: Ricchetti said the president wants to have "a bipartisan and unifying dialogue in the country," including conversations he's already had with mayors and local elected officials, "so that this isn’t just about a dialogue with senators and members of Congress. It is a dialogue with the country.”

  • Ricchetti said Biden treated a GOP counterproposal "with an open mind and with respect. He was also honest ... in underscoring why he proposed what he did — that he was committed to every one of the elements in his package."

The bottom line: Democrats will dismiss any whining about Biden's stimulus as D.C. noise or Republican hypocrisy. They'll be right on both fronts. 

Biden with Republican senators in the Oval
President Biden and Vice President Harris had a similar meeting Monday with 10 Republicans, including Sens. Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and Bill Cassidy. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Getty Images
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