McConnell slates October revote on GOP COVID relief plan

Coronavirus in the 2020 Elections
Election 2020 Senate Kentucky

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during a debate with Democratic challenger Amy McGrath in Lexington, Ky., Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. (Michael Clubb/The Kentucky Kernel via AP, Pool)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that he’s scheduling a procedural vote on a GOP COVID-19 relief bill for next week.

He says aid to hard-hit businesses shouldn’t be held up by gridlock involving other aid proposals.

The Kentucky Republican says in a statement Tuesday that the Senate will take a test vote Oct. 19 when the chamber returns on Monday.

“We don’t agree with Speaker Pelosi that “nothing” is better than “something” for workers,” McConnell tweeted. “Senators will vote on more relief next week, including more PPP money to stop layoffs. We’ll be able to pass it before we turn to Judge Barrett’s nomination unless Democrats block it again.”

Democrats filibustered a GOP-drafted aid bill last month and recent talks on a larger deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., fell apart this past weekend, probably for good.

In a letter, Pelosi described to her colleagues that she turned down Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s offer -roughly $1.8 trillion plan – because they couldn’t agree on how to defeat the coronavirus.

“A key concern is the absence of any response on a strategic plan to crush the virus,” Pelosi said. “We cannot safely reopen schools, the economy, and our communities until we crush the virus with the science-based, national plan for testing, tracing, treatment and isolation, and for the equitable and ethical distribution of a safe and effective vaccine once developed.”

McConnell’s announcement came as President Donald Trump continues to agitate for “stimulus,” saying that Republicans should “go big” rather than the limited approach they’ve been advocating.

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