WASHINGTON (CNN) – Ten Republican senators met in Sen. Mel Martinez's office Tuesday morning to discuss a broader stimulus measure than their leadership is proposing - but a narrower one than Democrats are considering.
CNN was the only news organization outside the meeting.
Afterwards, Martinez told CNN the details are still being debated and finalized, but they are looking at a ballpark figure of $500 billion, including the cost of tax cuts, infrastructure and military spending, and provisions to address the housing crisis.
Martinez and Sen. Lindsey Graham said they plan to present their ideas to fellow Republicans at their weekly policy lunch today.
The eclectic group of Republicans, spanning the ideological spectrum from the most conservative to the most moderate GOP senators, assembled over concerns their leadership's approach - to focus exclusively on the housing crisis and tax cuts - is enough to jumpstart the economy.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins told CNN the group believes a "realistic alternative" to the Democratic proposal is needed. "The worst thing we can do is just say no," she said. Sen. John McCain said they are trying to come up with a better package to create jobs.
The group of senators included John McCain, Mel Martinez, Saxby Chambliss, Susan Collins, Richard Burr, George Voinovich, Tom Coburn, John Thune, Johnny Isakson, and Lindsey Graham.