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INDIANAPOLIS – On this week’s edition of IN Focus, members of Indiana’s congressional delegation share their thoughts on the ongoing debate over how much stimulus relief Congress should pass in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Republicans say President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan is too costly – and they’re disappointed Democrats are moving ahead with a plan to use what’s known as budget reconciliation to potentially pass a stimulus bill with a simple majority in the Senate instead of the typical 60-vote threshold, though Republicans have used the same move in recent years to pass other legislation in the Senate.

“We’re looking at increasing direct payments to families, support for vaccine distribution, testing, additional aid to small business, funding to save state and local jobs, and an extension of unemployment benefits,” said Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). “I think that’s a great start.”

Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) was among the group of Republicans who met with President Biden at the White House on Monday, calling for a smaller stimulus package.

Young described the $628 billion Republican plan as “robust” and “more targeted” than the sweeping proposal from the Biden administration.

“I think we found some common ground in some areas,” Young said in an interview with reporters on Tuesday. “I don’t know whether in the end we’ll be able to come to terms on an agreement. I do pledge to work with the Biden administration, just as I did with the Trump administration, whenever I believe it will redound to the benefit of Hoosiers.”

The Biden plan calls for $1,400 direct payments to Americans, while the GOP plan stipulates $1,000 stimulus checks to workers making $40,000 or less or couples making $80,000 or less.

Young issued a statement Friday morning after a pre-dawn vote in the Senate allowing the budget reconciliation process to move forward, potentially paving the way for the President’s stimulus plan to pass even if it comes without any support from Republicans.

“President Biden has emphasized his desire for unity, but actions from his Democratic counterparts in Congress aren’t matching up to his rhetoric,” said Young. “Their plan to ram a one-sided COVID-19 package through Congress without bipartisan negotiation is the exact opposite of unity.” 

The stimulus debate wasn’t the only point of contention in the nation’s capital this week.

Republicans also dealt with the ongoing controversy involving freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was removed from her committee assignments for a series of controversial remarks and past social media posts espousing various conspiracy theories, and even outright violence.

Though eleven Republicans joined Democrats in the vote to strip her committee assignments, none of Indiana’s GOP lawmakers voted to remove Greene, a move some Indiana representatives called ‘a slippery slope’ while Democrats said the move was necessary and overdue.

“Things that she’s said and tweeted in the past are despicable,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). “But it’s a slippery slope to remove members of Congress from committees.”

“Just like their votes to overturn the 2020 presidential election, the Indiana Republican Party publicly declared their morals no longer rest in science, truth, and the American values we’ve cherished and have been taught our whole lives,” said Drew Anderson, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party.

The controversy comes just days ahead of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial in the Senate, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.