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Republicans Propose $600 Billion COVID Stimulus Compromise

Ten Republican senators are calling on President Joe Biden to consider a smaller, less costly $600 billion COVID-19 relief bill, according to CNBC.

The Biden administration has currently proposed a $1.9 trillion bill, which will consist of $1,400 payments for Americans, $400 extra per week in unemployment benefits, more state and local aid and help with vaccine rollouts, among other things.

But Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, has written a letter to Biden along with Mitt Romney of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and others, saying they were prepared to roll out their proposed legislation on Monday (Feb. 1).

They said they’d heard Biden’s previous calls for unity, and said with his support, “we believe Congress can once again craft a relief package that will provide meaningful, effective assistance to the American people and set us on a path to recovery,” CNBC writes.

The group wants to meet with Biden in order to discuss the issue “in greater detail.”

In the Republicans’ opinion, their bill has more targeted assistance, working to provide help to the Americans with the greatest need. Under their proposal, $160 billion would be set aside for vaccine assistance, including distribution, testing and tracing, and other crucial supplies. There would also be more stimulus checks — though for just $1,000 as opposed to the $1,400 in Biden’s proposal — and unemployment benefits extended, along with more help for small businesses and school reopenings.

The Biden Administration has also signaled that it’s open to negotiations on the individual checks, particularly for making them more targeted for those who really need them. PYMNTS reports that Biden advisor Brian Deese said there had been discussions from Republicans about how to address the stimulus, which would be considered going forward.

Democrats currently hold a razor-thin margin in the Senate, and so any opposition to their plans might end up causing trouble for the bill overall.

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