West Virginia Gov. Calls for Large-Scale Stimulus: ‘If We Throw Away Some Money Right Now, So What?’
West Virginia governor Jim Justice, a Republican, called for a large-scale economic relief bill on Monday in comments to CNN. Justice’s remarks came after Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.V.) called for targeted economic relief to tackle the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Manchin has dismissed the idea of sending out $2,000 stimulus checks to all Americans making less than $75,000 a year, calling instead for infrastructure projects “to put people back to work.” On Monday, however, Governor Justice indicated that he would not be overly concerned about the price tag of a new relief bill. “We need to understand that trying to be, per se, fiscally responsible at this point in time with what we’ve got going on in the country—if we actually throw away some money right now, so what?” Justice told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “We have really got to move and get people taken care of, and get people back on balance.” Harlow pointed out that Senator Manchin has called for more targeted relief efforts, however Justice said he had not spoken to the senator regarding negotiations over the bill. “I don’t really know exactly what the thinking could possibly be there,” Justice said. “We got people who are really hurting, and that’s all there is to it.” **Republican** Governor of West Virginia @WVGovernor to me on Stimulus: “Trying to be per se fiscally responsible at this point in time with what we’ve got going on in the country, if we actually throw away some money right now, so what?” Has he talked to @Sen_JoeManchin? I ask. pic.twitter.com/s93QMWze3m — Poppy Harlow (@PoppyHarlowCNN) February 1, 2021 Justice’s remarks come several hours before President Biden is set to meet with ten Senate Republicans to discuss a compromise coronavirus relief bill. Senator Rob Portman (R., Ohio) told CNN that the compromise bill includes more targeted relief, with $1,000 checks to individuals making $50,000 or less, and would be less costly than the current $1.9 trillion bill proposed by Democrats. While Democrats could attempt to pass their proposal via budget reconciliation, allowing for a simple majority vote and eliminating the possibility of a GOP filibuster, the party would need all 50 of its senators to vote in favor of the measure. This means Manchin would need to agree to the proposal, as well as fellow moderate Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.