Romney: Total figure for Biden coronavirus stimulus is 'pretty shocking'
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Sunday called the total cost of President Biden's coronavirus relief package – $1.9 trillion – “pretty shocking,” though he expressed openness to considering portions of the White House's proposal.
"Fox News Sunday's" Chris Wallace asked Romney if there were any parts of Biden’s plan he would consider, noting that Romney had said he was not in favor of passing another stimulus following the $900 billion bill that was signed into law in December.
“I think that's very possible,” said Romney. “We’ll listen to representatives of the White House today to understand their perspective, but if there are places that we missed in our proposal, we are happy to pick that up.”
He added, “The president wants to extend unemployment benefits if people are still unemployed, that is certainly something we would look at. We were of the view last time that states needed help, some rescue for states and localities that may have suffered a reduction in their revenues. That's appropriate, but the total figure is pretty shocking, if you will.”
Though he said he would listen to what the White House had to say regarding the stimulus bill, Romney made it clear in the same interview that he was not in support of stopping leases for oil and gas production on federal land.
"That obviously very badly hurt some of our rural communities, stopping the Keystone pipeline. That puts a lot of people out of work. Those people are going to be understandably angry," said Romney.
On his first day in office, Biden stopped the lease for the XL Keystone Pipeline, drawing the ire of Republican lawmakers as well as officials from the Canadian government.
"I think it would be unrealistic to assume that Democrats and Republicans are going to see eye to eye on every issue. There are going to be differences of opinion, that's expected," Romney told Wallace. "But at the same time, I think it's appropriate for us to have unity of purpose, unity of heart, a recognition that we respect each other and treat each other with comity and that is something which I believe President Biden wants to see."
But he added, "So I think you've got to be pretty careful even recognizing the bounds of disagreement, to not do things that incite a great deal of unnecessary anger."