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Sen. Marco Rubio. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) urged President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday night to immediately call on Congress to pass $2,000 stimulus checks for the American people as a sign of congressional unity, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: Rubio has supported such payments before, but in asking the incoming president to "break the paralysis in Washington by delivering desperately needed relief," the possible 2024 presidential candidate is presenting himself as a practical partisan. Biden already supports the payments.

What he's saying: "It would send a powerful message to the American people if, on the first day of your presidency, you called on the House and Senate to send you legislation to increase the direct economic impact payments to Americans struggling due to the pandemic from $600 to $2,000," Rubio wrote.

  • Biden urged Congress to approve the bigger number before it opted for $600 checks last month.
  • President Trump then held up the checks, threatening to veto the legislation unless Congress increased the sum to $2,000. Trump has since triggered condemnation from the GOP after helping incite last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Rubio and other Republicans are now trying to find ways to smooth over the political damage.

  • "Although I will disagree with your administration frequently over the next four years, I am committed to working in good faith to advance critically important and effective policies on behalf of the people of this great nation," Rubio said.
  • "You have the ability to help break the paralysis in Washington by delivering desperately needed relief. I implore you to rise above the rhetoric and deliver an increase in assistance for American families."

Read the letter.

Go deeper

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, left, and Sen. Chuck Grassle (R-Iowa) look out into the crowd at a "Dole for President" rally at Hy-Vee Foods corporate office in Des Moines on April 13. Photo: J. DAVID AKE/AFP via Getty Images

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record,

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Sen. Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.