Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, on Sunday blasted the House Democrat-crafted COVID-19 relief package as neither bipartisan nor targeted — urging Democrats, “let’s negotiate.”
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Portman said just because the $1,400 checks to Americans is popular “doesn’t mean that this is the right bill.”
“Let’s make it bipartisan,” he said. “There are a bunch of us Republicans, I was one of the ten Republicans who went to see the president a few weeks ago and said ‘let’s negotiate.’ This is not like taxes or healthcare, this is COVID relief.”
He said President Joe Biden should do what former President Bill Clinton did when he first took office — “start off with more bipartisan measures.”
“Checks are coming out to people’s homes, that’s going to be popular but that doesn’t mean that this is the right bill,” he said. “It’s $1.9 billion, more than half of it won’t even be spent in this calendar year. How could it be about COVID relief?”
“It’s just not targeted,” he added.
Portman, however, hailed Biden’s executive order last week intended to boost manufacturing jobs by strengthening U.S. supply chains for advanced batteries, pharmaceuticals, critical minerals and semiconductors.
“We’re too reliant on foreign sources for so many of our products and these supply chains need to be moved back here,” he said. “The president issued an executive order this week that I support. In the meantime we got to do something with the urgent crisis that we face… and do whatever we can in this country to move production back here to our shores.”
According to Portman, former President Donald Trump has “a lot to talk about” concerning his policy accomplishments.
“He’s very popular among Republicans — the polling all shows that,” he said. “I do think the policies is what’s even more popular and that’s why Republicans did pretty well in 2020.”
“He has an opportunity today to talk about his accomplishments instead of talking about personalities and who might have not agreed with him on the impeachment process, talk about what you did,” he urged for the speech he was set to give Sunday night.
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