South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds was part of a group of Republican senators who met with President Joe Biden Monday to discuss further COVID-19 relief.
Rounds released a statement following the meeting saying he was grateful for the president’s willingness to listen to ideas and be open to compromise. Read Round's statement below:
“South Dakotans sent me to Washington to stand up for our principles and get results. It’s important to be in these discussions to advocate for our state and work to keep out the bad policies that will hurt our families and businesses. As the saying goes – ‘if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.’
“Even though President Biden and I disagree on many issues, I’m grateful for his willingness to listen to our ideas and be open to compromise. Everyone in today’s meeting has shared goal of eliminating COVID-19 and providing relief to families who are truly struggling. It is better to build consensus and find a bipartisan path forward, rather than a massive, partisan bill that congressional Democrats are currently proposing.
“My primary goal in any COVID-19 relief package is to make sure that it is targeted and directly addresses the pandemic itself. And we must keep out provisions unrelated to COVID-19 – such as raising the national minimum wage – that will kill jobs and hurt the economy, especially at a time where we’re trying tirelessly to get people back to work.
“We agreed to keep talking on these important issues and I look forward to continue working together on areas in which we can find consensus.”
President Biden is seeking Republican support for a $1.2 trillion stimulus package, which includes $1,400 checks to individuals. Republicans have brought a $600 billion solution, which address some of the same things the President’s bill does, but does not include money for state and local governments, slashes direct payments from $1,400 to $1,000 and would cap those who get it at $50,000 and more. President Biden has been consistent he wants Republican support, but is prepared to pass the bill with just Democrats alone if necessary.