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GOP irked after last-ditch attempt fails to deter Biden push for quick passage of Covid relief plan

February 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 14.7%. 1 min read.

It was Super Bowl Sunday -- and President Joe Biden was on the phone with Sen. Susan Collins.

Biden, two sources familiar with the call said, was sounding out Collins, speaking freely to her and leaving the Republican with the distinct impression that he was receptive to deal-cutting with the GOP.

But Republicans, still irked by the lack of progress in the short-lived bipartisan talks, see a President who is hamstrung by both White House staff and Democrats in Congress whom they believe have far less interest in working with the GOP and seem more willing to advance their agenda without regard for the minority party.

"He seemed more willing than his staff to negotiate," said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican, who met with Biden and a group of GOP senators earlier this month.

Ahead of their White House meeting with Biden, Collins and nine other Republicans had unveiled a $600 billion counterproposal to the President's $1. 9 trillion bill, something Democrats immediately dismissed as insufficient.

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