GOP group reveals plans for $1000 Covid stimulus checks ahead of Biden meeting

GOP group reveals plans for $1000 Covid stimulus checks ahead of Biden meeting


GOP group reveals plans for $1000 Covid stimulus checks ahead of Biden meeting

GOP group reveals plans for $1000 Covid stimulus checks ahead of Biden meeting

US president Joe Biden will meet with a group of Republican senators on Monday after they proposed their own coronavirus relief package worth $618 billion (£546,508 billion).  

They wrote a letter to president Biden on Sunday, with the suggestion that cross-party support was still possible on a smaller spending package. Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, propose a $1.9 trillion ($1.4 trillion) package. 

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said afterwards that the White House had invited the 10 Republicans to meet with president Biden on Monday, although he wanted to move ahead with Democrat proposals on the matter.

Susan Collins, the Republican senator leading the counter-proposals, announced details of the package on Monday morning, which included targeted $1,000 stimulus checks and small business aid, among other items. 

Democrats, who propose $1,400  stimulus checks, are due to push on with the $1.9 trillion ($1.4 trillion) package, with the process set to begin this week in the House and the Senate despite Republicans largely being against the proposals, which are more than three times that proposed by the 10 senators.

Through a process known as a budget resolution, Democrats will be able bypass a rule that requires 60 votes to see a bill pass through the Senate, and would also see the $1.9 bill blocked by Republicans.

The chamber is split 50-50 between both parties, with Democratic vice president Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote.

Democrats are aiming to pass the coronavirus stimulus package through both chambers by March, when extra unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid expires. It will be the sixth such bill passed by Congress since the pandemic began.

In a statement, the Republican senators wrote that they “appreciate[d] the President’s quick response” to their letter on Sunday, after they referenced president Biden’s “stated priorities”, which included “the spirit of bipartisanship and unity”.

Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy, Mitt Romney, Rob Portman, Shelley Moore Capito, Todd Young, Jerry Moran, Mike Rounds and Thom Tillis, all accepted the invite to the White House.

Ms Psaki, the press secretary, added on Sunday that “the danger now is not in doing too much: it is in doing too little,” and that “Americans of both parties are looking to their leaders to meet the moment.”

Chuck Schumer, the Democrat majority leader in the Senate, added that he supports bipartisanship but “we need big, bold action and if we can’t move forward with them, we’ll have to move forward on our own.”

Brian Deese, a top economic adviser leading the Biden administration’s outreach to Congress, suggested earlier on Sunday that the White House could consider increased limits on who would receive stimulus checks.

“That is certainly a place that we’re willing to sit down and think about, are there ways to make the entire package more effective?” said Mr Deese.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.




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