Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief

Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief
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A bipartisan group of 16 senators is expected to speak this weekend with a White House aide about coronavirus relief.

The phone call with National Economic Council Director Brian DeeseBrian DeeseWhite House weighing steps to address gas shortages Environmental activists' email blast disrupted White House communications over two days: report Sinema in Arizona as Democrats try to get spending-infrastructure deal MORE, confirmed by a source familiar with the plan, is expected to be used to discuss President Biden's roughly $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal.

Spokespeople for the White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The Senate group includes many of the same members as last year's "908" coalition, who created a framework credited by leadership as breaking a months-long stalemate on a fifth round of coronavirus help.

The GOP senators in the group are Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call Republicans are today's Dixiecrats Biden's push for unity collides with entrenched partisanship MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiAnti-Trump Republicans endorsing vulnerable Democrats to prevent GOP takeover GOP rallies around Manchin, Sinema McConnell gets GOP wake-up call MORE (Alaska), Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDefense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' GOP rallies around Manchin, Sinema MORE (Utah), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call Biden shows little progress with Abraham Accords on first anniversary The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (Ohio), Bill CassidyBill CassidyHillicon Valley — Presented by American Edge Project — Americans blame politicians, social media for spread of misinformation: poll Biden signs bill to strengthen K-12 school cybersecurity Senators gear up for bipartisan grilling of Facebook execs MORE (La.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoBiden's soft touch with Manchin, Sinema frustrates Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit Here are the 11 GOP senators who helped advance the debt extension MORE (W.Va.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranStar gymnasts call on Congress to dissolve US Olympics board Expats plead with US to deliver COVID-19 vaccines Biden sidesteps GOP on judicial vacancies, for now MORE (Kan.) and Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungThe unseen problems in Afghanistan How to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) Senate Democrats try to defuse GOP budget drama MORE (Ind.).

The Democrats are Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Climate activists target Manchin Hoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat MORE (W.Va.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Fill the Eastern District of Virginia  GOP tries to take filibuster pressure off Manchin, Sinema MORE (Va.), Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanDemocratic incumbents bolster fundraising advantage in key Senate races Warnock raises .5 million in third quarter McConnell-aligned group targeting Kelly, Cortez Masto and Hassan with M ad campaign MORE (N.H.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenDefense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' Lawmakers call for more resources to support early cancer detection MORE (N.H.), Mark KellyMark KellyDemocratic incumbents bolster fundraising advantage in key Senate races Warnock raises .5 million in third quarter Anti-Trump Republicans endorsing vulnerable Democrats to prevent GOP takeover MORE (Ariz.), John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperOhio GOP congressman tests positive for COVID-19 Colorado remap plan creates new competitive district State Department spokesperson tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (Colo.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinFill the Eastern District of Virginia  Senators preview bill to stop tech giants from prioritizing their own products Democrats struggle to gain steam on Biden spending plan MORE (Ill.) and Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus KingSenate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act GOP tries to take filibuster pressure off Manchin, Sinema Hillicon Valley — Presented by American Edge Project — TSA to issue cybersecurity directives to secure rail, aviation sectors MORE (Maine), who caucuses with Democrats.

The bipartisan meeting to discuss the specifics of Biden's proposal comes as it's already hitting fierce GOP pushback.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntHartzler pulls in 6,000 for Missouri Senate bid with .65M on hand McConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, called it a "non-starter," though he noted that pieces of Biden's offer could gain bipartisan support.

Even GOP members of the group indicated that they weren't yet supportive of a new proposal but that they wanted to get details from the Biden White House on how the previous coronavirus funds are being dispersed.

"You know, there would be a lot of places where we agree. I think there'd be a lot of places where we disagree. We just passed a program with over $900 billion in it. I'm not looking for a new program in the immediate future," Romney told reporters this week.

Part of Biden's plan would provide a $1,400 direct payment for individuals who make up to $75,000, after bipartisan calls to increase the $600 payment included in last year's bill to $2,000. It would also provide payments for adult dependents, instead of just minors.

Durbin said the group isn't trying to come up with its own proposal, but that they've discussed the individual relief proposals.

"There's been a concern about the cash payment and whether or not there ought to be a different criteria for passing it out and distributing it. That has been discussed at length and I think it's one of the major elements," Durbin said.