Biden to meet Republicans proposing $618 billion virus aid

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is set to meet Monday with a group of 10 Republican senators who’ve proposed $618 billion in coronavirus aid, about a third of what he’s seeking.

The Republicans propose slimmer benefits, including $1,000 in direct payments to individuals earning up to $40,000 a year, or $80,000 for couples.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki says Biden has spoken with the leader of the group, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. The White House invitation came hours after the lawmakers sent Biden a letter urging him to negotiate rather than try to ram through his $1.9 trillion package solely on Democratic votes.

Congressional Democrats are poised to move ahead without Republican support.

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