Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine speaks after having lunch with former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush in Kennebunkport in this Aug. 21, 2020, file photo. Credit: Mary Schwalm / AP

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins criticized Republicans’ proposed pandemic relief package as she is working with her colleagues from both parties to craft an additional smaller pandemic aid package that could be considered this week.

Several Republican senators are pushing for a $500 billion package that would include money for the Postal Service, an expanded federal unemployment benefit of roughly $300 a week, liability protections for schools and businesses and more money for hospitals and testing.

But Collins said that is not enough. “I have started reaching out and talking to some of my friends on the other side of the aisle to see what their areas of agreement might be,” she said.

Collins would like to see a targeted continuation of the Paycheck Protection Program and aid to schools and state and local governments.

“This isn’t over and we do need another coronavirus package, and we do need to meet a lot of needs,” Collins said.

Collins said the Senate should come back into session and vote on items one by one to help jumpstart the economy.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.