The Senate GOP economic relief bill would provide more money for small businesses, $300 weekly unemployment benefits and include a number of other GOP priorities such as lawsuit protections for businesses. It would not include a new round of stimulus checks or money for cities and states, a key Democratic priority. The bill needs 60 votes to advance in Senate, and it is expected to fall short in a procedural vote set for Thursday.
McConnell has been under pressure from a handful of vulnerable GOP incumbents who wanted to vote on a coronavirus-relief measure before going back to their states for the final campaign push. The new bill, even if it doesn’t become law, could aid in those efforts, some Republicans believe.
“I think the opportunity to signal their support for a targeted, responsible and responsive package this week is going to be essential,” said Sen. Todd C. Young (R-Ind.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) questioned McConnell’s motives in putting forward a bill that can’t pass. “Is it because they really don’t want a bill, but a political issue — one that will ultimately backfire on them, I believe?” Schumer said.