Republicans in the Senate are roundly dismissing President Donald Trump’s call to withhold more federal aid from schools that remain shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic, the latest sign of a split between the White House and the GOP over their party’s response to the public health emergency.
"I’m not a big fan of doing anything where the federal government impacts local, state governments or schools," Sen. Mike Braun, an Indiana Republican, said. "I want schools to reopen, but I don’t like that. I don’t like the federal government getting involved."
As negotiations within the party continued , GOP senators made clear there were a number of White House demands that they unlikely were going to embrace, including the President’s demands to cut payroll taxes and to pull back on funding for coronavirus testing and tracing.
"I don’t think anybody’s satisfied with it," said Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, when asked about testing in the US, something that Trump has frequently touted.
Others were more critical of the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis.
"I don’t think it’s been a great example for the world to see America," Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said of the President’s handling of the pandemic, pointing to the lack of rapid and accessible testing as well as shortages of personal protective equipment.
As the US struggles to get a handle of the crisis, Republicans are struggling themselves to find consensus over their latest recovery plan, a measure that is expected to cost roughly $1 trillion and will serve as an alternative to the $3 trillion Democratic bill that passed the House more than two months ago. Many Republicans, including those up for reelection, are eager for another relief package to help millions of jobless Americans and bolster the US response to the crisis.
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