GOP Senate leaders sound off on COVID relief bill

Senate Republican leaders are slamming President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill as too expensive and filled with items that are unrelated to the pandemic. (Feb. 23)

Video Transcript

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: Obviously the Democrats have continued to try to move ahead with a partisan COVID package. You know the history. But it's worth recounting that every COVID package we passed last year, we did on a bipartisan basis. It was almost no opposition to most of those bills. And I was hoping the new administration, particularly given the president discussing so frequently being a moderate, would choose to take a different path.

They're going to try to muscle this through on a totally partisan basis. And I think I can safely speak for most of my members that we think this is dramatically more money than is required at this particular juncture. It also includes a number of things that have absolutely nothing to do with COVID relief. And so it will be controversial.

SENATOR JOHN THUNE: They have decided first bill out of the gate this year-- coronavirus bill, which is, again, way too big to start with, and has a lot of questionable pieces to it. They decided to try and do it at 51 votes. I think which tells you that this is never about trying to get a bipartisan bill that deals with the virus, but rather using the pandemic for political gain.