No new deal has been made as Republican senators met with President Biden today in the Oval Office to discuss a Covid-19 stimulus deal that could only end reaching between $600 billion and $900 billion, some sources suggest. Yet hope is far from being on the horizon
“I wouldn’t say that we came together on a package tonight,” said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who initially called the meeting. “No one expected that in a two hour meeting, but what we did agree to do is to follow up and talk further at the staff level and amongst ourselves, and with the President and Vice President on how we can continue to work together on this very important issue.”
GOP Sens. Collins, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah and Rob Portman of Ohio were among the senators who met with Biden on Monday to discuss their stimulus plan which places greater emphasis on the health effects of the crisis, including expanding funds for a vaccine rollout.
A summary of the deal shows that the stimulus would limit direct payments to Americans and does not include assistance to states and localities, which Democrats have insisted upon as part of any relief measure.
Collins said the senators are “very appreciative” that in Biden’s “first official meeting in the Oval Office,” he chose to “spend so much time with us in a frank and very useful discussion.”
“It was an excellent meeting,” said Collins. “…I am hopeful that we can once again, pass a sixth bipartisan Covid relief package.”
ATR News Contributing Writer Megan Hayes in Nashville, TN contributed to this report.