Senator says impeachment trial delay is ‘appropriate’

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., discusses the impeachment trial timeline, President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief proposal and hope for bipartisan legislation in the Biden administration.
6:04 | 01/23/21

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Transcript for Senator says impeachment trial delay is ‘appropriate’
We're joined now by democratic senator Ben Cardin of Maryland senator thinks so much for your time tonight. Now earlier tonight senate majority leader Chuck Schumer outlined the schedule for the full senate impeachment trial now set to begin the week of February 8. That gives about two weeks to focus on improving president Biden's cabinet picks in. Getting started on his agenda how much can the senate get done in that time in any concerns from you. On that schedule. Oh Lindsay. Good to be with you it's it really depends upon the cooperation between the Democrats and Republicans. President Biden needs to have his cabinet firm by the United States and he needs to have it done as quickly as possible. We only have two confirmed cabinet positions now will take up I think too early next week. But we really need to take up as many as possible and we. The full team in place to deal with the east national issues that the endemic to the economy. To seek national security so I hope that we'll use those two weeks. In the meantime it's appropriate to get the president the former president opportunity to present. His defense has counsels be appointed the two weeks is a reasonable period of time for proper preparation for the trawl. By both the managers and president counselors. Now today president Biden focused on the economy and his one point nine trillion dollar pandemic relief bill but there's a little appetite among Republicans to support such a large bill even if they do back some of the components. We saw how chemicals it was to pass a comprehensive bill in the fall so. Given the urgent needs of Americans. Will be more effective to break this bill up and try to quickly passed targeted measures if both sides can agree upon. Well I think we have to take up a comprehensive bill the American people need this is not whether it's the Democrats Republicans this is a pill that's got to get done. A we have a crisis in addition fusion of vaccines in America we need. The federal government to be more aggressive in helping the states in the distribution of the vaccines. We we know our state and local governments need additional help our small businesses need additional help American families that are hurting and that this will help our economy will help all of us saw I think we have. According to the need and the need is great. And Republicans have been criticized for decrying the high price tag of president Biden's proposal despite them supporting trillions in spending and tax cuts under president trump. But other thing calling out the apparent hypocrisy. Is there anything you can do to change the fact that many Republicans have turned into essentially deficit hawks again and likely won't support a bill this size. Woman look. At the specific provisions I think we're gonna get Republican support it's hard to believe that they don't recognize the needs that are out there in our community. The economists all agreed that during this type of an economic challenge you need to be able to put money into the economy and helps us all and includes. Helps us deal with the deficit by getting our economy out of this pandemic as quickly as possible. And we also see president Biden trying to focus on measures to that speed up the production and distribution of Kobe vaccines but. Many state officials are expressing frustration over the lack of doses right now what's the single most important thing the federal government do you think can do at this moment. To make sure more Americans are able to get the vaccine. It's a great question we need a national plan and that plan needs to be understood. You need to get. Direct. Information from the federal government you gotta be consistent. And then we need to use every tool we have at the federal disposal including the defense production act. To make sure we have adequate supplies are for the vaccines app for the protective equipment that we W need in order to contain this Faris. Are the states need to have a clear understanding as to how the distributions going to be done. And they have got the capacity that that the personnel they have that have built the decaying plants and beat that. Communities you treated fairly at that outreach in the underserved communities so we need an overall strategy from the federal government and the resources to make sure it's carried out. And lastly you're part of a bipartisan group that's calling on congress to affirm ratification of the equal rights amendment which has now secured enough states for passage. If congress changes the deadline for ratification a what are the chances of this moving forward Ann and why is it important happened decades after the amendment was first introduced. Well we we had these states that have supported it 38 states have already voted for the ratification of the equal rights amendment the constitution. The problem is commerce put a deadline on when the ratification process the constitution does not provide for a deadline so. By passing this resolution we believe we enabled the 38 states and are re ratified. Equal rights amendment. That it won't be pumped or our constitution. So it's an exciting moment I think most Americans believe we already have an equal rights amendment in the constitution we don't. So this is a time that we can really move forward and he showed the world that America is joining in making sure that we provide equal Royce would. Hey you know a lot of people are feeling on inauguration day perhaps there is home you know there were so much talk about unity just curious to get your sense you're actually inside the capitol doing the work. Do you feel more hopeful at this point is there something that you're designing. A perhaps now things are going to be different. Yes I really do so I'm not I've had conversations with my Republican colleagues I think they see a new beginning. We have an administration that wants to work or congress both Democrats and Republicans. They've identified the issues that we think we can at addressing congress and including. Getting cook at nineteen under control dealing with our economy during the tough issues such as immigration I think there's real hope among our. Colleagues said that this congress will be able to get down to business early. Be able to work together I know it's going to be a challenge and the nations divided. But we know that president Biden understands the United States senate he understands the congress and we're excited to work with. Aren't we appreciate that optimism and thank you so much for joining us senator Ben Carter we appreciate it thank humans.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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