Biden meets Republicans on virus aid, but no quick deal

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has told Republican senators he’s unwilling to settle on too small a coronavirus aid package after meeting for two hours over their slimmed down proposal. Their $618 billion plan is about a third of what he’s seeking.

The Republicans are looking at fewer and smaller benefits, including $1,000 in direct payments to individuals earning up to $40,000 a year, or $80,000 for couples.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins says the meeting at the White House on Monday resulted in no compromise on differences. But she and the other Republicans say there was agreement to keep discussions going.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats pushed ahead to lay the groundwork for passage of their full package without relying on Republican support.

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