WH clarifies intent of Biden meeting with GOP senators on relief package

At a briefing on Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden’s meeting with Republican senators is for the purpose of exchanging ideas on a coronavirus relief package, not for the president to make or accept an offer on the legislation.

Video Transcript

- On the president's meeting this evening with the senators, can you give us a sense of how he views that meeting. Is it going to be negotiating? Is he going to be prepared to counter anything the Republicans might offer? Or is it just a session where they asked to meet with the president and he's simply giving them an opportunity to voice their concerns?

JEN PSAKI: Well, the president has been clear since long before he came into office that he's open to engaging with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress about their ideas. And this is an example of doing exactly that. So as we said in our statement last night, it's an exchange of ideas, an opportunity to do that. This group obviously sent a letter with some outlines, some top lines of their concerns and their priorities. And he's happy to have a conversation with them.

What this meeting is not, is a forum for the president to make or accept an offer. So I think that's important to convey to all of you. And his view remains what was stated in the statement last night, but also what he said on Friday, which is that the risk is not that it is too big, this package, the risk is that it is too small. And that remains his view, and is one he'll certainly express today.