© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

Sen. Rob Portman 'Discouraged' By Lack Of Bipartisanship In Coronavirus Relief Bill

In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, arrives as the first impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite
/
Associated Press
In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, arrives as the first impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in Washington.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says he’s disappointed in the new COVID-19 stimulus bill passed by Democrats in the House this past weekend.

The $1.9 trillion relief package includes direct aid to small businesses, $1,400 direct checks to qualifying Americans, an increase in the child tax credit, and direct funding to both state and local governments and schools.

However, Portman says the bill, which passed with no Republican votes, is not bipartisan.

“I’m very discouraged by the fact that the Biden administration chose to try to jam through a COVID-19 bill without any Republican input or support. It makes no sense," Portman said. "COVID-19 legislation over the last year has always been bipartisan. We’ve done it five times with huge bipartisan votes each time."

Portman says he doesn’t believe the bill is good policy, adding that a lot of the money isn’t related to COVID-19. He says he is hopeful about working with Senate Democrats on amendments to the relief package.

Portman and nine other Republican senators met with President Biden last month to talk about coronavirus relief, but their $600 million proposal was a third the size of Biden's. It also included no money for state and local governments, a major sticking point for Democrats like Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

The Senate is set to take up the bill as soon as Wednesday.