•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Amid GOP divisions, McConnell sets stage for showdown stimulus vote with Democrats

10:40  10 october  2020
10:40  10 october  2020 Source:   cnn.com

Senate Republicans are still struggling on a stimulus deal — even as they expedite a Supreme Court nomination

  Senate Republicans are still struggling on a stimulus deal — even as they expedite a Supreme Court nomination Many voters want the Senate to prioritize stimulus.Trump’s test results gave the stock market a slight jolt on Friday and a recent report revealed that jobs growth has been less than robust. But GOP members in the upper chamber have focused instead on their expedited process for the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court — leaving many to wonder if any relief will happen at all before the election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday he would force his chamber to cast a test vote this week on a new version of his party's economic recovery plan, putting pressure on Republicans to get behind a measure meant to serve as an election-year contrast with Democrats .

Moving quickly to set up a vote could avoid a repeat of the intraparty squabbling that dominated the July The Senate is expected to hold the procedural vote on Thursday, according to a GOP leadership aide. “I am confident Democrats will feel the same. Yet Republicans believe the many serious

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday he would force his chamber to cast a test vote this week on a new version of his party's economic recovery plan, putting pressure on Republicans to get behind a measure meant to serve as an election-year contrast with Democrats.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wears a mask as he walks through a hallway at the U.S. Capitol May 11, 2020 in Washington, DC. © Alex Wong/Getty Images Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wears a mask as he walks through a hallway at the U.S. Capitol May 11, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Ahead of the Senate's return Tuesday from its August recess, McConnell announced plans to unveil the new GOP bill and take the procedural steps needed to set up a vote "as soon as this week." Moving quickly to set up a vote could avoid a repeat of the intraparty squabbling that dominated the July session when Republicans bickered for days before the GOP leader ultimately introduced a $1 trillion Republican plan that never came to the floor for a vote.

Can Democrats Stop the Nomination?

  Can Democrats Stop the Nomination? Four questions that could determine whether Mitch McConnell can push through a Trump Supreme Court nomineeFour major questions will determine the outcome of this struggle, set off by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg only six weeks before Americans finish voting for both president and control of the Senate, and only four months before a new Congress gets sworn in.

Moving quickly to set up a vote could avoid a repeat of the intraparty squabbling that dominated the July The Senate is expected to hold the procedural vote on Thursday, according to a GOP leadership aide. “I am confident Democrats will feel the same. Yet Republicans believe the many serious

“I will be moving immediately today to set up a floor vote as soon as this week,” McConnell said in a Tuesday statement. The move amounts to a gamble for the Senate GOP leader, given that Republicans privately concede they are still short of the 51 votes they are seeking in order to bolster

But with the coronavirus pandemic and the impact on the economy still dominating the concerns of voters, McConnell and GOP senators have spent the month of August in private discussions trying to find unity behind a plan roughly half the size of their last proposal. Yet there are still several members threatening to vote against the emerging proposal as they push GOP leaders to include their ideas into the plan.

"I will be moving immediately today to set up a floor vote as soon as this week," McConnell said in a Tuesday statement. The Senate is expected to hold the procedural vote on Thursday, according to a GOP leadership aide.

The Relief Deal Blowup: What are Pelosi and Trump Thinking?

  The Relief Deal Blowup: What are Pelosi and Trump Thinking? It’s not just the president’s wild back-and-forth on Twitter. Both sides are looking irrational on a deal that the economy is going to need soon.The Republican message for 2020 is also that this is the most important election in history, but that the future of America depends on Trump’s victory, that the alternative would be socialism, rioting, the end of religion, the end of the suburbs, and an economic disaster. Yet Republicans in Congress have resisted a huge stimulus bill to prevent that disaster, and on Tuesday Trump suddenly ordered his aides to stop trying to negotiate any bill until after the election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addresses battle over COVID-19 relief bill. Coronavirus stimulus : A relief bill is less likely as election approaches, says GOP senator.

Hours after Senate Democrats blocked movement on a massive stimulus package Sunday evening, injecting fresh uncertainty over whether and when lawmakers will reach a bipartisan deal to deliver relief amid the devastating coronavirus pandemic

The move amounts to a gamble for the Senate GOP leader, given that Republicans privately concede they are still short of the 51 votes they are seeking in order to bolster their election-year argument against the Democrats, who pushed a $3 trillion-plus plan through the House in May.

If McConnell's new measure falls short of 51 votes, it is bound to feed Democratic attacks that the GOP remains in disarray over new economic relief measures with millions out of work and just weeks ahead of a hugely consequential election with control of the Senate at stake.

But even if the bill wins over 51 GOP senators, it will still fall far short of the 60 votes needed to break a Democratic filibuster, meaning the impasse over a new round of stimulus will persist amid months of bitter partisan bickering.

"It does not contain every idea our party likes," McConnell said of the new plan. "I am confident Democrats will feel the same. Yet Republicans believe the many serious differences between our two parties should not stand in the way of agreeing where we can agree and making law that helps our nation."

'Staggering numbers': Early voting is breaking records in 2020, fueled by a big mail-ballot lead for Democrats

  'Staggering numbers': Early voting is breaking records in 2020, fueled by a big mail-ballot lead for Democrats More than 5 million people have already voted early in the presidential election. Democrats have taken a commanding lead in returning mail ballots.In the 2016 election, about 75,000 people had voted early one month from the election, across significantly fewer states that started early voting and reported their numbers, according to the United States Elections Project.

But McConnell ’s remarks suggest Senate Republicans may be as big an obstacle to a deal as Pelosi. McConnell has said that there are members of his GOP majority who think the government has already provided enough stimulus . Pelosi and Democrats are pursuing a .2 trillion boost to the economy.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday that Democrats have had no contact with Senate Republicans or the Trump administration about stimulus negotiations, just days before the GOP is planning to release their draft bill.

What's in the bill?


Video: Avlon: The Trump administration acts like the law doesn't apply to them (CNN)

The bill includes aid for schools, the US Postal Service and small businesses, including the Paycheck Protection Program. The draft bill provides an extension of the small business loan program to the tune of $257.7 billion. Loans will max out at $2 million and the bill makes it easier to forgive loans under $150,000.

The bill also includes an extension of jobless benefits at $300 a week, down from the $600 in weekly benefits that expired in July. This bill would extend benefits until December 27.

The bill is intended to help the Postal Service's cash crunch by forgiving a $10 billion loan to the USPS under the March CARES Act, the more $2 trillion relief package passed earlier this year. The USPS would have to meet certain criteria to have the loan forgiven. Republicans argue that this "mirrors" what the Democratic leaders proposed to the White House in their recent negotiations, according to a GOP summary of the bill.

Democrat Amy McGrath takes on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky

  Democrat Amy McGrath takes on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky McConnell is one of the most powerful figures in the country and one of the most reviled among Democrats, helping McGrath raise lots of campaign cash.McConnell, one of the most high-profile and influential Republicans of the past half-century, is seeking a sixth term to the US Senate. He's also one of the most reviled and despised Republican figures among Democrats, making Kentucky's Senate election one of the most highly-watched races of this year.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday defended Senate Republicans fast-tracking the third leg of the coronavirus stimulus package without input from Democrats , saying that urgency is key.

And Democrats want billions to outfit schools and shore up local governments. “Regretfully, this is not over,” McConnell said after a raucous private GOP Cruz warned if the economy is still shut down come November, Joe Biden will win the White House, Democrats will control the Senate and “we’ll be

The legislation also includes two years of tax credits for parents to cover costs of private and home schooling, a controversial school choice proposal mirrored off of a plan proposed by Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Tim Scott of South Carolina and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. Cruz had pushed for permanent tax credits for this program, but the GOP bill provides for two years of tax credits.

The bill would also authorize actions needed to "surge capacity" to produce vaccines and therapeutics for Covid-19, according to the GOP summary.

The text also includes long-sought liability protections proposed by McConnell to limit lawsuits against businesses, universities, hospitals, and health care workers in their response to the pandemic.

The bill would increase the amount of charitable contributions that individuals can take. The bill would provide $105 billion for schools and programs to get schools up and running, $16 billion for testing and contact tracing, $31 billion for vaccine, therapeutic and diagnostic development, $20 billion for farm assistance, $5 billion for child care providers to help working parents have access to childcare, and $500 million in federal assistance to fisheries.

The bill would be paid for, in part, by unspent money in the existing CARES law.

Mitch McConnell says an economic stimulus package is 'unlikely in the next 3 weeks' as the White House renews its push for aid

  Mitch McConnell says an economic stimulus package is 'unlikely in the next 3 weeks' as the White House renews its push for aid McConnell said a coronavirus aid package was needed, but added "everybody is kind of trying to elbow for political advantage.""I think the murkiness is a result of the proximity to the election, and everybody kind of trying to elbow for political advantage" he said during a campaign event in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. "I'd like to see us rise above that ... but I think that's unlikely in the next three weeks.

What happens next?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called the plan "emaciated," and has joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's call to back at least $2.2 trillion for a new stimulus, a price tag the White House and McConnell have rejected.

"Republicans appear dead-set on another bill which doesn't come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere," Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement released Tuesday. "If anyone doubts McConnell's true intent is anything but political, just look at the bill. This proposal is laden with poison pills Republicans know Democrats would never support. "

The White House is keenly interested in trying to secure the necessary votes as well. Over the weekend, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows spoke with GOP senators by phone to hear out their concerns, sources said. And some pushed their preferred ideas, including Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican who wants the plan to include refundable tax credits for parents who homeschool their children, according to a person familiar with the matter.

But once the GOP bill stalls, it's an open question whether any of the proposals will be added to a government funding bill to keep federal agencies open past this month. Both Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are trying to keep the measure "clean" -- or free of extraneous proposals -- but they are bound to face pressure to add more economic relief to what could be the final bill signed into law before the November elections.

This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.

Trump urges Republicans to skip Supreme Court nomination hearings and work towards approving a stimulus package instead .
Democrats were critical of the nomination hearings and said it was coming at the expense of passing a broad coronavirus relief package."The Republicans are giving the Democrats a great deal of time, which is not mandated, to make their self serving statements relative to our great new future Supreme Court Justice," he wrote on Twitter.

usr: 5
This is interesting!