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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.

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.