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Romney, fellow GOP senators discuss COVID-19 spending compromise with Biden

Joe Biden
Susan Collins, Mitt Romney
Posted at 10:28 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 00:37:26-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mitt Romney is part of a group of 10 Republican senators working to reach a bi-partisan COVID-19 relief deal with the White House.

The group met with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office for two hours Monday.

“We had a full airing of our differing points of views,” Sen. Romney said on a conference call with members of the Utah media. “I can tell you there was not an agreement reached. We did not expect there to be an agreement reached -- that our plan would be adopted or rejected on the spot.”

President Biden’s American Relief Plan comes with a price tag of roughly $1.9 trillion.

The G.O.P. proposal would cost around $600 billion.

One difference between the packages involves direct stimulus payments.

The White House plan would send $1,400 checks to most Americans. The Republican proposal would send $1,000 checks, and individuals who earn more than $50,000 per year and couples who earn more than $100,000 would not receive a check.

“I recognize, like many across the country, that we can’t keep borrowing massively more. This represents a real peril to our kids and our grandkids,” Sen. Romney said. “If we do need additional funding, that we make sure we are spending on actual need and not spending money that’s not actually required.”

The White House released a statement that described the talk as substantive and productive.

Sen. Romney realizes a bi-partisan agreement is not guaranteed as Democrats control the White House, Senate and House of Representatives. However, a deal on this issue could lead to more bi-partisan work.

“Items relating to taxing and spending, they can do with just 51 votes. So, they don’t need us to support their COVID package as is,” Sen. Romney said.