Republican Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said Sunday that Democrats had not reached out to encourage any bipartisan legislation on COVID relief.
Cassidy told “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace that Democrats wanted “the patina of bipartisanship” but had not taken any actions thus far to indicate that they were truly willing to work together.
Wallace noted that President Joe Biden has spoken at length about unity and moving the country forward in a bipartisan fashion, but that he had clearly drawn a hard line with regard to a coronavirus relief package. (RELATED: ‘You’re Not Being Straight With Me’: Chris Wallace Challenges Chris Coons For Changing The Definition Of Court Packing)
“I support passing COVID relief with support from Republicans if we can get it, but the COVID relief has to pass. There’s no ifs ands or buts,” Biden told reporters on Friday.
Wallace then turned the question to Cassidy, pointing out the fact that Senate Democrats were already discussing using the budget reconciliation process in order to push Biden’s relief package through without Republican support.
“Do you see them starting already to work on that budget as a sign of bad faith?” Wallace asked.
“Well, first, they’ve never reached out to us, so that’s the beginning of the bad faith,” Cassidy replied.
He went on to argue that the Democrats’ proposed package includes a number of handouts to specific Democratic constituency groups rather than targeting those who need relief the most.
“And, by the way, policies which would kill millions of jobs, which is what CBO says raising minimum wage to $15 would do in normal times, not — nothing like today,” Cassidy continued. “You don’t want bipartisanship. You want the patina of bipartisanship, but you want to stick it and ram it through, so that’s not unity.”