Speed Reads

covid relief

10 GOP senators to unveil alternative $600 billion COVID-19 relief package

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) led a group of 10 Republican senators — including fellow moderates Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — that on Sunday announced plans to unveil a $600 million COVID-19 relief package they believe could serve as a bipartisan alternative to President Biden's $1.9 trillion plan, which the GOP has deemed too expensive.

The details are expected to be released Monday, though The Washington Post reports it will likely not include Biden's proposal to increase the federal minimum wage and it will also reportedly narrow eligibility for a new round of $1,400 stimulus checks to individuals earning $50,000 per year or less or couples earning $100,000 per year or less.

The Republicans want to meet with Biden to discuss their counterproposal. "We want to work in good faith with you and your administration to meet the health, economic, and societal challenges" of the COVID-19 pandemic, they wrote in a letter.

Whether Democrats will be open to discussing the idea remains to be seen (Biden's top economic adviser reiterated Sunday that the president is determined to act swiftly), but, as the Post notes, the fact that 10 Republicans are on board with the plan is significant. If the two sides do reach a compromise that would give the Senate the 60 votes required to pass legislation without the Democrats having to seek a workaround. Read more at The Washington Post.