COVID relief

Florida Legislators React as Biden Unveils Covid Plan, Calls for Partisan Unity

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With the fireworks and pageantry done with, it's back to work in Washington, as President Biden is calling for both parties to unite while he rolls out a new plan to fight the coronavirus.

"I am hopeful and optimistic that we can actually get back to working," said Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, who paid a visit to some Florida National Guard troops stationed by the Washington Monument Thursday.

A few blocks away inside the White House, Biden laid out his approach to address the U.S.'s coronavirus outbreak. While Republicans have said that they are willing to collaborate with their Democratic colleagues, the Biden administration's Covid plan may be their first trial.

First term Congressman Carlos Gimenez also went to thank the Florida troops on Thursday afternoon, telling NBC 6 said there are some elements of Biden's plan that he supports.

"I think in terms of a coronavirus bill, I would certainly be supportive of an additional $1,400 into people's pockets," Gimenez said. "I certainly want money to go back for small businesses struggling throughout this time, and then states and cities that have come up with deficits because of issues with the programs they have initiated for Covid-19. I think those are all fair game."

Diaz-Balart noted that "what we need is more supply of the vaccine. If you look in the state of Florida you have state healthcare institutions, you have Publix and others who are willing and ready to distribute more vaccines. The problem is just that they don't have the vaccines to distribute."

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said she was "absolutely thrilled" about Biden's plan. "I look forward to being able to move our country forward, to have a president who understands that science should be driving our decision-making when it comes to getting our arms around crushing the COVID-19 virus."

President Biden said his administration hopes to get 100 million doses administered within 100 days. Some Republicans have criticized the plan for being too expensive, or for containing items they say aren't directly related to fighting the pandemic.

"Actions speak louder than words. Everybody is talking about unity, unity. Well, I think we need to come in the middle," Gimenez said. "We need to be able to disagree in a civil manner."

Florida Senator Marco Rubio said on Thursday that he was in favor of Biden using a federal law to compel companies to produce more vaccine.

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