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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.

Go deeper

10 Senate Republicans propose compromise on COVID relief package

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of 10 Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), sent a letter to President Biden Sunday requesting a meeting, saying they have developed a counterproposal to the president's COVID-19 relief plan.

The big picture: The proposal includes $160 billion in spending for vaccines, testing and tracing, treatment and medical equipment. The senators said the plan "could be approved quickly by Congress with bipartisan support," if it gained Biden's support.

Jan 31, 2021 - Politics & Policy

White House plans to bypass national media

Jen Psaki answers her first set of public questions. Via Twitter.

President Biden's team knows his national media honeymoon is coming to an end, so it's preparing to speak directly to the American people through local reporters and avoid distractions with its anti-Trumpian approach of ignoring Twitter.

Why it matters: The White House controlled the narrative for the first 12 days with daily themes and choreographed executive orders, but its communicators know they must be innovative as the press corps steps up its independent scrutiny, and they try to sell initiatives like a coronavirus relief package.

High-end liquor sales jumped to a 40-year high during pandemic

Frankie Arguinzni, an employee at Supreme Liquor in Cambridge, MA, gets down three 1.75 liter bottles of vodka from the top shelf in April 2020. Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

High-end liquor gained its sharpest increase in sales in at least 40 years after the coronavirus pandemic brought lockdowns across the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Adults in a peer-reviewed JAMA report said last September that they drank 14% more often over a five day period in 2020 than they did in 2019.