Politics Mitch McConnell says Senate Republicans will vote on a slimmed-down coronavirus relief plan as Trump presses them to 'go big'
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- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Senate Republicans would vote on "targeted relief" with a focus on small business aid later this month.
- "Our first order of business will be voting again on targeted relief for American workers, including new funding for the PPP," McConnell
- The statement carried few specifics and it was unclear whether the proposal would contain federal unemployment benefits or $1,200 direct payments for taxpayers.
- Trump is increasing his calls for another large stimulus package ahead of the election, and it may put the president and Senate Republicans on a collision course.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Tuesday the Senate will vote on a "targeted relief" plan for people with an emphasis on small business aid shortly after they reconvene later this month. But that may put Senate Republicans on a collision course with President Donald Trump, who is stepping up his calls for a large stimulus package ahead of the election.
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"When the full Senate returns on October 19th, our first order of business will be voting again on targeted relief for American workers, including new funding for the PPP," McConnell, referring to the Paycheck Protection Program to aid small businesses.
He went on: "Unless Democrats block this aid for workers, we will have time to pass it before we proceed as planned to the pending Supreme Court nomination as soon as it is reported by the Judiciary Committee."
The statement contained few specifics on the contents of another aid package. Asked for the price tag of the bill or whether it would contain stimulus checks to individuals, money for states, or money to healthcare providers, David Popp, a spokesperson for McConnell, told Business Insider: "We'll be sure to let everyone know when we have additional guidance or announcements."
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.
However, shortly after McConnell's comments, Trump tweeted again in favor of a broad relief spending plan.
"STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!" the presidentThe White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The president has been increasing his calls for a large coronavirus relief plan in recent days, a striking change of course after abruptly ending stimulus negotiations last week. Some Senate Republicans, however, are reluctant to support more relief spending that adds to the national debt. It may set the stage for a clash between the president and lawmakers from his own party.
He suggested on Friday he couldthan the $2.2 trillion amount that Democrats are seeking. Later that day, the White House to $1.8 trillion, its biggest yet.
Butfrom both parties over the weekend. The White House on Sunday then urged Congress to pass legislation to reroute around $130 billion in unused relief funds as negotiations with Democrats continue, though they appear deadlocked.
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Trumpto quickly confirm his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, so they could approve a spending package, though they remain far from that move.
Democrats are unlikely to support a slimmed-down package as they have insisted on a large spending plan to address the pandemic. Theythat Republicans unveiled in September, criticizing it as inadequate. It didn't include aid to states or direct payments, two key Democratic priorities.
Speaker Nancy Pelosiagain on Tuesday, saying it included many "deficiencies" and listed eight of them. Democrats argue the plan falls short on aid to cash-strapped state and local governments, virus testing, and tax credits for low-income individuals, among other measures.
Kimberly Leonard contributed reporting.
Graham slams Pelosi for 'changing election laws' with COVID relief .
Lindsey Graham thinks his Republican colleagues should agree to a heftier coronavirus stimulus package after Mitch McConnell announced he will put forward a $500 billion bill this week. 'There are some Republicans who don't want to spend anymore. I disagree,' Graham told 'Full Court Press' host Greta Van Susteren in a Sunday morning interview when speaking of those who don't want another relief package in general.The South Carolina senator and staunch ally of President Donald Trump, however, said he opposes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's $2.