President Biden urged Senate Democrats on Tuesday to go big on coronavirus relief, making an aggressive case in favor of his $1.9 trillion rescue package as Democrats took the first steps to advance the legislation.
Biden’s comments, on a private lunchtime call with the Senate Democratic caucus, were confirmed by several people familiar with his remarks who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were private.
Biden addressed Senate Democrats a day after meeting with a group of Republican senators who are pushing a much narrower, $618 billion bill.
The president made clear to Senate Democrats that he viewed a proposal of that size as inadequate and that the risks of going small outweighed the risks of going big, the people said. Press secretary Jen Psaki emphasized in a press briefing shortly thereafter that the White House stood by the $1.9 trillion top-line figure of its plan.