Biden says he won't settle for COVID-19 aid package that 'fails to meet the moment': White House

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks before signing executive orders strengthening access to affordable healthcare at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 28, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden told a group of Republican senators on Monday he hoped his proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package could pass with bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress, but he “will not settle for a package that fails to meet the moment,” the White House said.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had a “substantive and productive discussion” at the White House with the senators and the president told the senators their scaled-down $618 billion COVID-19 aid proposal did not address urgent issues in many areas, the White House said in a statement.

Reporting by Eric Beech, writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Himani Sarkar