Biden wins surprising praise from Republicans after 2-hour meeting at the White House
Ever since Inauguration Day Republicans have been attacking President Joe Biden over his calls for unity. Many Democrats have urged the new president to scrap attempts to unite with hardline Republicans if it means compromising on his vast progressive agenda.
Despite attacks from the right and barbs from the left President Biden on Sunday invited a group of ten GOP Senators who put together a proposed coronavirus relief bill to talk with him at the White House. They agreed, and sat down Monday at 5 PM. After two hours, the meeting ended and Republicans appeared pleased.
If nothing else, this should end the attacks on Biden's call for unity. President Donald Trump did not try to unite the country, his legacy has literally been one of trying to pit various groups against each other.
The offer on the table was a $618 billion package, about one-third of Democrats' $1.9 trillion package. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin has been urging Congress to "act big."
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) told reporters after the White House visit, "I think it was an excellent meeting, and we're very appreciative that as 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."
Democrats were not invited. Biden does not need any GOP votes, but is hoping to help heal the nation by showing he is willing to listen.
Collins also described the overall feeling as "hopeful" for a bipartisan bill, and added, "I wouldn't say that we came together on a package."
It's not yet known if any specific agreements were reached.
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