FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- Millions of Americans who are out of work are waiting for lawmakers to pass a COVID relief bill.
Both sides agree that relief is needed but neither side agrees on the cost, including Indiana Republican Senator Todd Young, who was hopeful to negotiate down the price of Biden's nearly $2 trillion plan.
Philosophical differences between parties remain a sticking point, which is why young and nine of his colleagues met with President Biden Monday evening to discuss their $618 billion dollar stimulus plan versus the $1.9 trillion dollar one submitted by the new administration.
"The president spent two hours with all 10 of us in the Oval Office yesterday. We were the first group of legislators with whom the president has visited since he's come into office. And the tone was respectful. We exchanged views and perspectives," Young said.
President Biden and former President Trump promised to give Americans another $2,000 in stimulus checks, which translates to an additional $1400 on top of what was doled out late last year.
The Republican plan would limit those checks to $1,000, and get them to people with lower incomes.
"Nice to see that it was a long meeting. I think that surprised everybody involved, and everyone came out positive although certainly not thinking a deal was struck," PFW Political Science professor Michael Wolf said.
Wolf said it's a good bi-partisan sign that the Oval Office meeting went well.
He said $2000 for stimulus money is a number that resonates with people, but he says both sides need to be mindful of how the outcome will affect voters.
"Voters, particularly those that are worried about something, that's a big deal, that amount of money. Others might be concerned about debt and deficit, might really be standing firm on this," he explained.
Senator Young said the two sides essentially agree with addressing coronavirus vaccine manufacturing, distribution, storage, and administration, but said a major difference in the two stimulus proposals is that Biden's ncludes provisions for raising the minimum wage, boosting child and earned income tax credits, and providing money for states.
"Republicans, I think I speak for just about every one of my colleagues, don't believe we should be padding the budgets of profligate state governments so that they might pay for expenditures entirely unrelated to this COVID pandemic," Young said.
Young said staffers began negotiating details of the two proposed stimulus plans Tuesday, but there's no timeline for when a bi-partisan deal could be announced.