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Biden meets with 10 GOP senators at White House on pandemic relief

While touting a "productive" meeting with President Biden, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Feb. 1 said there was no agreement on a bipartisan relief bill. (Video: The Washington Post)

President Biden met with 10 Republican senators in the Oval Office on Monday afternoon for what the White House described as “a substantive and productive discussion” about their $600 billion counterproposal to his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan.

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“I wouldn’t say that we came together on a package tonight. No one expected that in a two-hour meeting,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told reporters after leaving the White House. But she said discussions will continue at the staff level and senators are hopeful for a bipartisan deal.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that Biden “noted many areas which the Republican senators’ proposal does not address.”

The Democrat-led Senate is also planning this week to advance several more of Biden’s Cabinet nominees and continue preparations for the impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump for his role in the attempted insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Here’s what to know:

  • Biden’s meeting with Republican senators comes as Democrats prepare to move forward this week to set up a partisan path for the president’s relief bill, which Republicans have dismissed as overly costly.
  • Biden threatened sanctions on Myanmar after the Southeast Asian nation’s military seized power and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other top officials in her ruling National League for Democracy.
  • Trump’s legal team imploded as he remained fixated on arguing at his second impeachment trial that the 2020 election was stolen from him. On Sunday night, his office announced new lawyers.
  • Trump’s new political action committee raised $31.5 million in the weeks after Election Day through fundraising appeals purportedly to fight election fraud and help Republicans maintain their majority in the Senate, new filings show.