Republican Senators had a “frank and useful” meeting with President Joe Biden on coronavirus relief bills Monday night, Republican Maine Senator Susan Collins said.
Collins and nine other Republican senators met with Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and other top policy makers in the administration for roughly two hours at the White House on Monday. Collins, the only member of the Republican group to speak to the press afterward, said no deal had been reached, but that it had been a “very productive” discussion.
“It was a very good exchange of views. I wouldn’t say that we came together on a package tonight. No one expected that in a two hour meeting,” Collins told reporters. “But what we did agree to do is to follow up and talk further at the staff level and amongst ourselves and with the President and Vice President on how we can continue to work together on this very important issue.”
NO DEAL TONIGHT, BUT…. @SenatorCollins says she and her colleagues are “very appreciative” of @POTUS’s willingness to spend 2 hours discussing their proposals. Says conversations will continue at the staff level. pic.twitter.com/seOQiDGFYY
— Ed O’Keefe (@edokeefe) February 2, 2021
“I think it was an excellent meeting and we are very appreciative that has his first official meeting in the Oval Office, the President chose to spend so much time with us in a frank and very useful discussion,” she added. (RELATED: Jen Psaki Shrugs Off CBS Reporter For Refusing To Name Anonymous Democrats)
Collins was joined by fellow Republican Senators Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, 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.
Republicans have proposed a roughly $600 billion coronavirus relief package compared to Biden’s $1.9 trillion package. The president has shown no interest in lowering his number, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki telling reporters Monday that he was more concerned it was not enough.