GOP senators unveil $618 billion coronavirus proposal ahead of Biden meeting

A group of 10 GOP senators unveiled an estimated $618 billion coronavirus proposal on Monday ahead of a meeting with President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE to discuss relief legislation.

“Mr. President, we recognize your calls for unity and want to work in good faith with your Administration to meet the health, economic, and societal challenges of the COVID crisis," the senators said in a joint statement.

The group will meet with Biden and Vice President Harris at 5 p.m., according to the White House's schedule.

The group includes GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWelcome to ground zero of climate chaos A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate Bipartisan blip: Infrastructure deal is last of its kind without systemic change MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiRepublican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee Trump endorses GOP challenger to Upton over impeachment vote Businesses want Congress to support safe, quality jobs — so do nearly all Americans MORE (Alaska), Bill CassidyBill CassidyGOP senator on Texas abortion law: Supreme Court will 'swat it away' when 'it comes to them in an appropriate manner' GOP hopes spending traps derail Biden agenda Sunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect MORE (La.), Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Overnight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Democrats aim for maximum pressure on GOP over debt ceiling MORE (Utah), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — GOP senator: It's 'foolish' to buy Treasury bonds Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken McConnell: Republicans 'united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling' MORE (Ohio), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Capito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet GOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization MORE (W.Va.), Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungHow to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) Senate Democrats try to defuse GOP budget drama The 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill MORE (Ind.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranIt's time for Congress to act before slow mail turns into no mail Kaine says he has votes to pass Iraq War repeal in Senate Seven-figure ad campaign urges GOP to support infrastructure bill MORE (Kan.), Mike RoundsMike RoundsThe 19 GOP senators who voted for the T infrastructure bill Senate passes T bipartisan infrastructure bill in major victory for Biden Senate votes to end debate on T infrastructure bill MORE (S.D.) and Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime How to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) MORE (N.C.).

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The Republican proposal totals $618 billion, according to details released by Collins's office on Monday morning. That is roughly a third of the $1.9 trillion plan proposed by Biden and backed by congressional Democrats.

The proposal includes $160 billion in pandemic response funding including protective equipment and more money for vaccine distribution. It also extends the $300 per week federal unemployment benefit through June 30.

The bill includes a $1,000 direct payment, compared to the $1,400 direct payment in Biden's plans, with $500 for adult dependents and children. The proposal also lowers the income cap for qualifying for the direct assistance.

Under previous coronavirus bills, individuals who make up to $75,000 would receive the check, with the amount of the payment phasing out after that. But under the GOP proposal individuals who make up to $40,000 would get a $1,000 check, with the amount of the check phasing out altogether at $50,000.

It also includes $20 billion in additional funding for schools, $20 billion in child care funding, an additional $50 billion in small business aid, $12 billion for nutrition assistance and $4 billion for behavioral health resources.

"We look forward to discussing our proposal in detail with you this afternoon at the White House," the GOP senators added.

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The meeting comes a day after Republican senators said in a letter to Biden that they had drafted a proposal and requested a meeting. Biden subsequently called Collins, whom he previously served with in the Senate and who has been taking the lead on bipartisan talks, to invite the group to the White House. 

Democrats are nearing a decision point on whether they will move forward with their $1.9 trillion plan, which will require passing it without GOP votes, or negotiate a substantially smaller bill if Senate Republicans guarantee they will provide the 10 votes needed to get over the 60-vote legislative filibuster.

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE indicated on Monday that Biden would not be cutting a deal with Republicans during the meeting.

"What this meeting is not is a forum for the president to make or accept an offer," Psaki said.

She added that Biden believes the final package "needs to be closer to what he proposed" and that the risk was not a relief package that was too big but "the risk is that it is too small."

"That remains his view and it’s one he’ll certainly express today," Psaki said.

In addition to talking to Collins, Biden spoke with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Democrats suffer blow on drug pricing as 3 moderates buck party MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails MORE (D-N.Y.) on Sunday. 

The House is scheduled to vote on a budget resolution this week that will include reconciliation instructions that will allow Congress to draft and ultimately pass a coronavirus bill with only a simple majority in the House and Senate.

Going it alone will test Democratic unity just weeks into Biden's administration. Democrats have a slim majority in the House and the 50-member entire Senate Democratic caucus would need to support both the budget resolution and the subsequent coronavirus legislation in order to pass it without GOP support.

Democrats are split over whether or not including a $15 minimum wage increase complies with arcane Senate rules that govern what can, and cannot, pass through reconciliation. A stand-alone bill from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack trillion tax hike the opposite of 'good investment' Progressive groups call for Puerto Rico Fiscal Control Board to be abolished MORE (I-Vt.) only has the support of an additional 37 senators.

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles House Democrat says she won't support reconciliation bill 'at this early stage' MORE (D-W.Va.) refused to tell reporters late last week if he would vote for the budget resolution if it's used to set up a Democratic-only coronavirus bill.

"We’re gonna try to make Joe Biden successful. I don’t understand why y’all don’t understand what I’m saying," he said amid several questions about his vote.

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But Schumer, speaking to reporters in New York on Sunday, vowed to move forward on a bigger plan if Democrats couldn't get GOP support.

“We intend to move forward. We hope that we can move forward with a bipartisan way with our Republican colleagues cooperating. But we need big, bold action and if we can’t move forward with them, we’ll have to move forward on our own. Getting the job done in a big bold way is the number one priority," he said.

Updated at 1:22 p.m.