WASHINGTON – US President Joe Biden has invited a group of Republican senators to meet with him at the White House to discuss their COVID-19 relief proposal, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday night.
“As has been widely reported, the President received a letter today from 10 Republican Senators asking to meet with him to discuss their ideas about the actions needed to address these crises,” Psaki said in a statement, adding Biden has invited signers of the letter to come to the White House early this week for a full exchange of views.
“With the virus posing a grave threat to the country, and economic conditions grim for so many, the need for action is urgent, and the scale of what must be done is large,” Psaki said.
Psaki’s statement came after 10 Republican senators, led by Susan Collins from the state of Maine, earlier Sunday proposed an alternative COVID-19 relief framework that they believe is capable of garnering bipartisan support.
“In the spirit of bipartisanship and unity, we have developed a COVID-19 relief framework that builds on prior COVID assistance laws, all of which passed with bipartisan support,” the senators wrote in a letter to Biden.
“Our proposal reflects many of your stated priorities, and with your support, we believe that this plan could be approved quickly by Congress with bipartisan support,” they wrote.
The senators plan to formally unveil the details of their relief proposal on Monday, which could cost $600 billion, according to local media.
Biden has unveiled a 1.9-trillion-dollar COVID-19 relief proposal, which draws opposition from a growing number of congressional Republicans. It is unclear whether the Biden administration would secure enough votes for a new massive relief package.