Biden to meet Republicans who propose lesser virus aid

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to meet late 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 there’s “obviously a big gap.” But she said Biden is interested in exchanging ideas.

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.

Democrats are poised to move ahead with procedural votes to lay the groundwork for passage without Republican support.

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