Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says a vote on coronavirus relief funds could happen sometime this week. McConnell did not specify what would be included in the relief measure, but said it would focus on health care, education, and the economy.
In a statement, McConnell said the Senate will look over a “targeted proposal, focused on some of the very most urgent healthcare, education, and economic issues.”
“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. … I will make sure every Senate Democrat who has said they’d like to reach an agreement gets the opportunity to walk the walk,” McConnell added.
Democrats and Republicans have sparred over coronavirus relief for months. The Senate left for recess last month without agreeing on a deal after a $600 federal unemployment benefit expired. The Republican-sponsored bill is expected to include a scaled-back unemployment benefit as well as another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding, funds for coronavirus testing, and liability insurance for businesses, which Democrats largely oppose.
“Republicans may call their proposal ‘skinny,’ but it would be more appropriate to call it ’emaciated.’ Their proposal appears to be completely inadequate and, by every measure, fails to meet the needs of the American people,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a letter to lawmakers.
An initial procedural vote could happen as soon as Thursday. However, the bill is not expected to have the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster.