Biden meets Republicans on virus aid, but no quick deal

Republicans press Biden to scale back $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan

The working group - led by Sen.

A group of Republican senators led by Susan Collins from the state of ME on Monday morning unveiled their $618 billion Covid-19 relief proposal, falling short of Democrats' demands.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, told reporters the meeting would be a forum "to exchange ideas" but not "a forum for a president to make or accept an offer".

The unveiling of specifics came after Biden invited the group to the White House as both sides say they want to move negotiations quickly.

The G.O.P. proposal would cost around $600 billion. Unemployment benefits at $300 a week - now slated to lapse in March - would also be extended through June 30.

The Republican proposal also would earmark more help for businesses, and limited help for school reopenings.

Their proposal would remove the federal $15 minimum wage increase and shrink Biden's proposed $1400 stimulus checks to $1000. "So, they don't need us to support their COVID package as is", Sen.

However, Psaki signaled skepticism that Biden would agree to scaling back his plan to the degree the GOP senators want, saying that "the danger now is not in doing too much: it is in doing too little". The group of 10 on Sunday had sent a letter to Biden requesting a meeting.

At the same time, the White House may be willing to adjust its ask, perhaps shifting some less virus-oriented aspects into a package that is set to go next before Congress, the official said.


Romney said on a conference call with members of the Utah media.

"All of us will have differences of opinions, this is a 1.9 trillion dollar bill, I have differences and concerns about this bill", he said, "but at the end of the day we are going to support the President of the United States". Republicans, on the other hand, in their counter offer proposed stimulus checks of $1,000.

Biden met with a group of Republican senators who have proposed a drastically slimmer coronavirus relief package than the Dollars 1.9 trillion measure he is offering.

After having introduced the budget resolution on Monday, Democratic leaders Pelosi and Schumer are now expected to schedule a budget vote, which can potentially allow Democrats to pass the $1.9 trillion relief bill by late February or early March. Instead, he joked about the fact that he felt like he was still in the Senate.

What is the budget reconciliation bill?

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate said Monday they have filed a joint budget resolution, the first step in passing a budget blueprint.

"One thing we've learned over the past 11 months is a piecemeal approach, where we try to tackle one element of this and wait and see on the rest, is not a recipe for success", National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said on NBC's "Meet the Press".

Those senators, who include Sen. Collins called it "an excellent meeting" and expressed confidence that a bipartisan deal can be struck, but she did not take any questions. "Further, many municipalities are wrestling with lost revenues that directly impact the delivery of many essential services to our communities".

Reports have indicated that these Republicans-many who are considered moderates within the party- initiated the contact with the hope of talking Biden down from the $1.9 trillion relief package he has in mind.

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