Federal Spotlight: GOP Senators Propose Alternative COVID-19 Relief Package to Biden

February 4, 2021

A number of Republican U.S. Senators met with President Joe Biden on Monday to discuss a COVID-19 relief package they are offering as a counter to the $1.9 trillion bill that Biden has put forward. Republicans, led by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, are putting forward an approximately $600 billion package that would include another round of direct payments to qualifying individuals, offer more funding for vaccine distribution and testing, and extend federal unemployment benefits among other things. Their offer comes as progressives are encouraging the president and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to use budget reconciliation to pass a bill–meaning they’d only need a simple majority of votes in both chambers to pass a COVID-19 relief bill. The outcome of this issue could set the tone for how the rest of the 117th Congress plays out.