Feb 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to meet with 10 GOP senators for coronavirus relief talks

Combination images of President Biden and Republican Sen. Susan Collins.
Combination images of President Biden and Republican Sen. Susan Collins. Photos: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images, Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will on Monday meet at the White House with a group of 10 Republican senators who are seeking a bipartisan deal on coronavirus relief.

Driving the news: White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that after receiving a letter earlier Sunday from the Republicans, led by Sen. Susan Collins, Biden spoke with the Maine senator and invited them to the White House "for a full exchange of views."

What they're saying: The senators said in a joint statement, "We appreciate the President's quick response to our letter, and we are pleased to accept his invitation to the White House tomorrow afternoon to discuss the path forward for the sixth bipartisan COVID-19 relief package."

  • Psaki noted "the scale of what must be done is large," with "the virus posing a grave threat to the country, and economic conditions grim for so many."
  • "As leading economists have said, the danger now is not in doing too much: it is in doing too little. Americans of both parties are looking to their leaders to meet the moment," she said.

The big picture: The White House has deployed top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal, per Axios' Hans Nichols.

  • Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), one of the letter's signatories, told Fox News Sunday the Republicans' alternative relief package would cost about $600 billion.
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