A group of 10 GOP senators is appealing to President Joe Biden in an effort to convince him to reduce the financial investment in his proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. In the new proposal, the Republicans also asked to meet with the president to discuss the issue further. Biden accepted the meeting request, and the group plans to visit with the president on Monday.
While the exact details of the counterproposal have not yet been released, it will cost approximately one-third of the current Biden proposal. The biggest investments will be $160 billion to put toward health care, vaccine distribution, and increased testing and tracing efforts. The new proposal also will continue the expanded unemployment benefits in the amount of an additional $300 per month.
Most importantly to many Americans will be the change in the direct stimulus payments. Rather than the proposed $1,400 per eligible American in the Biden plan, this new proposal reduces that amount to $1,000. It also decreases the income eligibility so that fewer Americans will receive the economic stimulus. The Republicans are advocating this plan on the basis that not all Americans need the stimulus and the money should instead be more targeted.
GOP Senators Signed on to New Proposal
The senators who signed the counterproposal include Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Mitt Romney of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Todd Young of Indiana, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.