WATCH: Jen Psaki Subtly Explains Just How Much Joe Biden Cares if Even One Republican Votes for Covid Relief Bill
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked twice if securing even one Republican vote for Covid relief is a priority for President Joe Biden, and her responses were very clear, almost comically so.
During her most recent press briefing, Psaki fielded several questions on the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” that’s currently fighting its way through the Senate, including a final volley from CNN White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond.
Diamond: (I)n terms of bipartisanship, obviously there are a few Republican senators who are still considering how to vote on this package — Senator Lisa Murkowski chief among them, in terms of somebody who might support this bill.
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
Diamond: So how much of a priority is it for the President to try and win over at least one of these Republican senators? And how much time and energy is he planning to put into that effort?
MS. PSAKI: Well, the President remains deeply engaged in getting this across the finish line. He takes nothing for granted. And I fully expect him to be on the phone through the course of weekend — the weekends with Democrats and Republicans as needed, just answering questions they have, addressing needs they have. Obviously, he had a number of people to the Oval Office just this week. So he takes —
Diamond: How much of a priority is it for him to get at least one Republican senator to support this bill?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think the President’s measure of success here is whether we get the package through so we can deliver relief to the American people. And we welcome the support of Republicans in the Senate. We’re open to answering questions, to addressing concerns they have but, at the end of the day, our focus and the President’s priority is on ensuring that almost 160 million people receive direct checks; that we are providing money to schools — by the way, polling this morning showed the majority of people supported that across the country so that they can reopen; and that we are ensuring we can get vaccines in the arms of Americans.
We’re still in the middle of a crisis. We’re in the — still in the middle of a war with the pandemic. And he welcomes their support, but his focus is on the American people.
Psaki has previously argued that the bill is bipartisan by virtue of the 8 in 10 Americans, including 6 in 10 Republicans, who support it or say it should be even more generous.
Watch above via The White House.
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