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Analysis: In stimulus push, Biden calls on Republicans to heed their constituents

February 21, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 27.8%. 2 min read.

President Joe Biden participates in a virtual event with the Munich Security Conference in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

As Joe Biden presses his case for Republicans to set partisanship aside and support his Covid-19 relief bill in Congress this week, the President reminded Americans of his own history working across the aisle with his visit Saturday evening to his ailing friend Bob Dole.

(CNN)As Joe Biden presses his case for Republicans to set partisanship aside and support his Covid-19 relief bill in Congress this week, the President reminded Americans of his own history working across the aisle with his visit Saturday evening to his ailing friend Bob Dole.

But Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats and is also chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, has forcefully advocated for the provision as a change that he said the nation "desperately needs. " During an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Friday night, he noted that the increase would be gradual, and that the federal government would provide tax credits to small businesses to help cushion the impact.

Sanders said in an interview with CNN Saturday that he was confident that the Senate parliamentarian would ultimately side with the argument that he and other progressives have made that "raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is not 'incidental' to the federal budget and is permissible under the rules of reconciliation. "

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters last week that the current economic conditions and makeup of the Senate have created "our best opportunity" and "the right moment" to pass their long-held goal of increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

In a preview of the arguments Republicans will make this week, GOP leaders in the House have already begun urging their members to vote against the bill, calling it the "Payoff to Progressives Act. " In an email to members Friday obtained by CNN, the office of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, argued that Democrats have rushed the legislation to the floor -- and said it will "bail out blue states" while "paying people not to work. "

Biden is looking to overcome those Republican objections by continuing to appeal directly to the American people this week.

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