By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Joe Biden is vowing to push for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus plan. Part of his proposal would provide parents with $300 a month direct payments for young children, totaling $3,600 per year.

But Republicans are not on board.

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Biden is calling for a dramatic expansion of the child tax credit. The plan calls for direct payment of $300 per month per child for children under six, and $250 a month per child per month for kids ages 6 to 17. In total, that is $3,600 a year for young kids, $3,000 a year for older kids.

To pass, this kind of a spending bill needs a supermajority of 60 votes in the evenly divided U.S. Senate. Or Democrats could try and use a procedural measure called reconciliation to try and pass it with a simple majority. Sen. Tina Smith was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

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“Democrats have to take no for an answer sometimes,” she said. “We are simply not going to be able to get our colleagues to get there, and if that is the case, there is another way of passing legislation. It’s an arcane argument; it’s called reconciliation. That is how the Republicans passed their big tax bill. That’s how we passed Obamacare.”

Complicating everything is the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the Senate.

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For there to be a conviction, that requires even more Republican support. Seventeen GOP senators will have to support a conviction, and right now that number is simply not there. That trial is set to start the week of Feb. 8.

Esme Murphy