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coronavirus relief

Biden adviser suggests holdovers from Obama era dictated 'harsh' response to GOP COVID-19 relief proposal

The Monday night White House statement that appeared to take some air out of bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill negotiations didn't sound like President Biden, an anonymous longtime adviser to the commander-in-chief told Politico.

"I think it sounded like more like [White House Chief of Staff] Ron Klain," the adviser said. "The GOP plan wasn't a joke. I looked at it and said, 'OK the midpoint between $600 billion and $1.9 trillion is about 1.2 or 1.3.' I was a little surprised we hit back that hard. It's not like our plan is perfect and there's nothing we can approve. Vintage Biden would not have been that harsh."

The adviser suggested that while Biden has a penchant for bipartisan deal-making, Klain, an Obama-era holdover, doesn't have fond memories of working with Republicans after unsuccessful talks with GOP lawmakers about the stimulus in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the Affordable Care Act. "Ron has this whole thing: 'Remember how they rat-f---ed us on the ACA!," the adviser told Politico.

It's worth noting, however, the White House statement did say Biden wants to keep talking with the group of senators going forward, so the idea of a bipartisan resolution hasn't been completely shot down, even if the possibility is shrinking. Read more at Politico.