No quick deal as Biden meets with Republicans

President Joe Biden and 10 Republican senators discussed widely different coronavirus relief proposals. No compromise was reached as Biden said he's unwilling to agree to their slimmed down $618 billion plan compared to his desire for $1.9 trillion in relief.

By

National News

February 2, 2021 - 9:54 AM

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, makes a statement to the media along with Republican senators after their meeting with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris about the American Rescue Plan in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 1, 2020. Photo by (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden told Republican senators during a two-hour meeting he’s unwilling to settle on an insufficient coronavirus aid package after they pitched their slimmed down $618 billion proposal that’s a fraction of the $1.9 trillion he is seeking.

No compromise was reached in the lengthy session Monday night, Biden’s first with lawmakers at the White House, and Democrats in Congress pushed ahead with groundwork for approving his COVID-19 relief plan with or without Republican votes. Despite the Republican group’s appeal for bipartisanship, as part of Biden’s efforts to unify the country, the president made it clear he won’t delay aid in hopes of winning GOP support. 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that while there were areas of agreement, “the president also reiterated his view that Congress must respond boldly and urgently, and noted many areas which the Republican senators’ proposal does not address.”

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