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Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A group of 10 Senate Republicans that are seeking a compromise on a COVID-19 relief package released the details of their $618 billion proposal Monday, ahead of a meeting with President Biden.

By the numbers: The proposal includes $160 billion in spending toward the direct response to the pandemic, including money for vaccines, testing and tracing, treatment, and medical equipment.

  • The package includes $1,000 in direct payments to Americans, a reduction from the $1,400 that Biden included in his plan.
  • The payments would be phased out starting with individuals making $40,000 a year or more. People making $50,000 or more would not receive a payment.
  • It would provide $50 billion in relief for small businesses. Child care and schools would each receive $20 billion.

State of play: The plan does not include funding for state and local governments or an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour — both of which are part of Biden's $1.9 trillion proposal.

  • The Republicans' plan would also provide $300 in weekly unemployment benefits through June. Biden's plan offers $400 weekly through September.

What they're saying: “Mr. President, we recognize your calls for unity and want to work in good faith with your Administration to meet the health, economic, and societal challenges of the COVID crisis,” the senators wrote.

  • The 10 GOP senators are Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Bill Cassidy (La.), Mitt Romney (Utah), Rob Portman (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Todd Young (Ind.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), and Thom Tillis (N.C.).

Between the lines: Biden has said he prefers a bipartisan approach to getting his plan through Congress, writes Axios Hans Nichols.

  • But he hasn’t ruled out relying on Democratic votes alone to pass his proposal through budget reconciliation, which requires a simple majority in the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled last week that Democrats would seek to use the tactic if they could not garner Republican support.

Go deeper: White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

Go deeper

Biden to meet with 10 GOP senators for coronavirus relief talks

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."

Biden flips the script — and reality

President Biden, with Vice President Harris, before signing executive actions on Thursday. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Getty Images

Joe Biden ran as a unifying centrist destined to be in conflict with activist liberals. Turns out, Biden is governing as an activist liberal constrained by centrists. 

Why it matters: Biden has outlined the most liberal agenda in a generation. But centrist Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), are potential deal-killers on climate change, spending and immigration reform.  

Feb 1, 2021 - Health

Trump administration lobbied against states on COVID-19 vaccine funding

Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images

Top Trump health officials urged Congress last fall not to give states any additional money for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, as state officials warned they didn't have the funding they needed, STAT scoops.

Why it matters: The vaccine rollout was ultimately sluggish, and the number of vaccines administered in the first few weeks fell way short of federal projections — partially because states faced a lack of resources.