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Reed On Stimulus: "It Didn’t Have To Be This Way"

ENDWELL, NY (WSKG) — Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23) defended his decision to vote against the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill, claiming Democrats did not involve Republicans in the process.

On a call with reporters shortly before President Biden signed the bill into law, Reed accused the president of not negotiating with congressional Republicans on the stimulus measure.

"The new administration went down the partisan path and a lot of what's in the bill has nothing to do with COVID-19,” Reed said.

While Biden had engaged in talks with a small group of GOP Senators, Congressional Democrats abandoned hopes of passing a bill through the normal legislative process. Instead, they moved it through along a legislative process for budget reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority in the Senate for passage.

Reed wanted Democrats to engage with him and fellow Republicans, none of whom ended up voting in favor of the measure.

"That is very frustrating to me because it didn't have to be this way,” Reed said. “We have demonstrated, over the last month of this COVID-19 crisis that we can work together."

House committee leadership rejected the inclusion of an amendment from Reed which would’ve prevented $1,400 stimulus checks from going to incarcerated people.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.