Democrats begin fast-track process to pass COVID relief without GOP

National Politics Romney, fellow GOP senators discuss COVID-19 spending compromise with Biden John Franchi

Mr Biden held a video meeting with Democratic legislators on Tuesday and expressed willingness to agree to modifications, Mr Schumer said, while noting there is "overwhelming support" for the president's American Rescue Plan.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a second spate of orders to undo his predecessor's immigration policies, demonstrating the powers of the White House and its limitations without support from Congress.

President Biden signed three executive orders on Tuesday that aim to roll back the "stain" of Trump administration's hardline stance on immigration, including steps to begin the reunification process of children who were separated from their parents at the Mexican border under the previous administration's widely condemned family separation policy.

All of us are concerned about struggling families, teetering small businesses and an overwhelmed health care system, said Collins, flanked by other senators outside the White House.

As part of the actions, he will call for a review of a Trump-era rule that made it harder for poorer immigrants to obtain permanent residency in the United States, they said.

Mr Biden's administration has already stopped adding people to the programme, but it has not yet declared what will happen to the claims of those already in the system. Today's executive actions also order a review of the Trump policies that restricted legal immigration. "I can tell you there was not an agreement reached".

"By resuming the pre-pandemic pace of visas, abandoning common-sense asylum policies, and increasing the burden on our strained social safety net, these orders will advance a unsafe open-borders policy, take away jobs from Americans struggling to find employment, and kneecap America's economic recovery from lockdowns", Jessica Anderson, director of the political advocacy arm of Washington-based Heritage Foundation, said in a statement.

"If you do have a surge (of migrants), you're taking one of your tools off the table", he said in reference to the program.

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In the first hours of his presidency two weeks ago, Biden acted to halt construction of Trump's $16 billion wall along the border and sent a far-reaching immigration bill to Congress, where lawmakers have always been stalemated between liberals looking to ease the path to USA citizenship and conservatives seeking to stem unauthorized immigration.

Lawsuits by conservative groups could potentially slow down Mr Biden's agenda.

Trump won the presidency in 2016 while making border security a major theme of his campaign. But from there, the two plans drastically diverge. The rule makes it harder for immigrants who are poor or need government help to secure residency and stay in the country.

The goal is to have COVID-19 relief approved by March, when extra unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid expires, testing the ability of the new administration and Congress to deliver, with political risks for all sides from failure. "It was a very good exchange of views", Collins said on Monday moments after the meeting as quoted by Sputnik. In October, a federal judge in California blocked Trump's ban as it applied to hundreds of thousands of US businesses that fought the policy in court.

Mr Biden also created a task force to reunite migrant families who were separated at the border by Mr Trump's 2018 "zero tolerance" strategy. The children are living with relatives or in foster care, an attorney representing plaintiffs in the litigation told Reuters. Mayorkas, Biden's nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security, is expected to face a Senate confirmation vote on Tuesday.

The official said that Trump "was so focused on the wall that he did nothing to address the root cause of why people are coming to our southern border".

The task force could include separations prior to the official launch of Trump's "zero tolerance" policy in April 2018, the official said.

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