Politics McConnell says Senate will vote on a $500 billion stimulus plan before Election Day as Trump tells GOP to ‘go big or go home’
'Running out of time': Efforts to speed up counting mail ballots stall in battleground states
The nation could be waiting for Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania to count all its mail-ballots after Election Day.But in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, two key swing states, efforts have stalled in Republican-controlled state legislatures. And in a third crucial state, Michigan, a push to begin the counting process several days before the election is dead. Lawmakers there instead chose to give election officials just a 10-hour head-start.
WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday the Senate would vote on a roughly $500 billion COVID-19plan next week, only two weeks before the election, as President Donald Trump Republicans to "go big or go home" on stimulus.
McConnell said in a statement the Republican-led Senate's "first order of business" once they return Monday would be to vote on a "targeted" relief plan, including new funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a loan forgiveness program for small businesses.
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.
"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," he said, referring to the ongoing confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
Both parties head into the election without a stimulus deal in hand and as many of the programs passed in March have lapsed. The PPP loans expired, a federal boost to unemployment benefits ran out, and airlines warned of massafter their federal assistance lapsed at the beginning of the month.
Amid GOP divisions, McConnell sets stage for showdown stimulus vote with Democrats
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. © 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.
Democratsa $300 billion plan supported by Republicans last month as both sides deadlocked over stimulus negotiations. House Democrats their own $2.2 trillion plan earlier this month, but Senate Republicans are unlikely to act on the bill.
Trump briefly pulled out of negotiations last week, telling Senate Republicans he wanted them to focus on Barrett'sinstead. Since then, the president reversed course, first calling for stand-alone bills on airline relief and $1,200 stimulus checks, and then offering a $1.8 trillion proposal that Democrats rejected as inadequate.
The 19th Explains: Everything you need to know about voting and Election Day 2020
Experts and state officials say to prepare for the reality that the country may not know who won the presidency on Election Day — or for several days (or weeks) after.Long lines due to expected record voter turnout amid a global pandemic. Ongoing concerns about online misinformation. Hundreds of lawsuits over voting. Poll workers facing changing election rules. An incumbent president who won’t guarantee a peaceful transfer of power.
Asked about the White House's proposal, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., told reporters Monday "I like the package we had on the floor,"to Senate Republicans' previous $300 billion package.
In a letter sent to House Democrats on Tuesday morning, Pelosi reiterated her opposition to the White House proposal, saying in some respects, the White House proposal "makes matters worse."
"A fly on the wall or wherever else it might land in the Oval Office tells me that the President only wants his name on a check to go out before Election Day and for the market to go up," Pelosi said.
The two sides remain at an impasse over the total amount to spend, the level of funding for state and local government assistance, a national COVID-19 testing plan, and election assistance funding, among other provisions.
Pelosi seemed unfazed by McConnell's announcement on a conference call with House Democrats, telling them she was "confident' in their position, according to a source on the call who was granted anonymity to reveal the contents of a private conversation.
Mitch McConnell says Senate Republicans will vote on a slimmed-down coronavirus relief plan as Trump presses them to 'go big'
Senate Republicans and Trump may be on a collision course as the president seeks another large coronavirus relief package ahead of Election Day."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 said in a statement, referring to the Paycheck Protection Program to aid small businesses.
"I don’t think our leverage has ever been greater than it is now," she said.
"Even the President is saying, ‘Go big or go home,'" she said in response to concerns some Democrats raised about taking the White House offer and using it as a starting point should former Vice President Joe Biden win the presidency in November.
People in need can’t wait until February. 1.8 trillion is significant & more than twice Obama stimulus. It will allow Biden to start with infrastructure. Obama won in 08 by doing the right thing on TARP instead of what was expedient. Make a deal & put the ball in McConnell court.— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna)
Contributing: Christal Hayes
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
What an EIP card is and why you could get one instead of a stimulus check .
We tell you what it's for, how to use it and how to find out if you're getting one, assuming a second stimulus check happens.These are all questions you may have and we'll answer them here. An Economic Impact Payment card was sent as a stimulus payment to about 4 million Americans rather than a physical check or direct deposit. If a second round is approved by Congress, it's likely that the IRS will make several million payments to eligible Americans using the same method -- keep reading to find out if you'll receive your check in this form of payment.