Stimulus Package 2 Update: When Is McConnell Calling a Vote?

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Getty Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senator Mitch McConnell, who is the Republican Majority Leader, has announced that he is calling two votes on the week of October 19 to deal with a second stimulus relief package. When is McConnell calling the votes?

The answer: Tuesday and Wednesday.

For weeks, Republicans and Democrats have haggled over the provisions of a second stimulus relief package. They’ve stalled on the overall price tag of a second package, which leaves everything from a second round of direct payments to extended unemployment benefits hanging in the balance. The House Democrats want $2.2 trillion, the White House wants $1.8 billion, but McConnell is only willing to bring a much smaller package to the Senate floor. The looming election is complicating the equation for Republicans and Democrats, with either side jockeying for position with the electorate.

Here’s what you need to know:


McConnell Is Splitting Off the Paycheck Protection Plan for a Vote

stimulus package 2 Trump McConnell

GettyU.S. President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

On Tuesday, McConnell is bringing a narrow Paycheck Protection Plan provision for a vote.

“Republicans have tried numerous times to secure bipartisan agreement,” McConnell said in a statement Saturday night, according to UPI. “But Speaker Pelosi keeps saying she feels ‘nothing’ is better than ‘something’ and clinging to far-left demands that are designed to kill any hope of a deal.”


McConnell Is Bring Forth a $500 Billion Package

mcconnell

GettySenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell is bringing a $500 package forward to a vote on Wednesday, October 21. “Nobody thinks this $500B+ proposal would resolve every problem forever,” McConnell said in a statement on Saturday, according to CNBC. “It would deliver huge amounts of additional help to workers and families right now while Washington keeps arguing over the rest.”

What does the package contain? According to CNBC, “funding for schools, expanded unemployment benefits and a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program.”

The challenge for McConnell is that some Republican senators are balking at a higher price tag. One, Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, wants a higher amount without some of the provisions in the Democratic version, which he said does things like not require a social security number to quality for direct payments.


Pelosi Wants a Higher Amount

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GettyU.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

According to UPI, Democrats blocked a similar $500 billion plan in September. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stayed firm on desiring a $2.2 trillion figure, and she has given, through an aide, Republicans 48 hours to pass that version before the election.

Democrats have repeatedly accused Republicans of shortchanging Americans’ needs. The bill needs 60 votes to pass and there are only 53 Republican senators, so Democratic votes would be needed for McConnell to get his desired versions through. That means it’s growing increasingly unlikely that a relief package will make it to Americans before the presidential election. For their part, Republicans have painted Democrats as the intransigent ones, claiming they’ve added provisions into their package that Republicans can’t support. They also believe that the amount Democrats want in extra unemployment benefits gives Americans too much of an incentive not to work.

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