Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said this week that GOP senators in close reelection races are calling for a quick vote on coronavirus relief to schools, businesses and the unemployed, The Hill reports.
McConnell, during a conference call with Senate Republicans, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, said "that every member who’s up [for reelection] who has any hint of vulnerability wants a bill that gets 51 votes," according to an unidentified source of The Hill that is familiar with the call.
House Democrats passed a $3.4 trillion coronavirus relief package last May, but Senate Republicans have yet to bring a bill to a vote. The last package unveiled by the GOP caused several members to balk at the $1.1 trillion in funding it provided. Now, many Republicans facing tough campaigns are hoping for the Senate to call a vote on a smaller relief bill that they can get done before Election Day.
"Moderate Democrats, especially in the House, are pushing for something like this, and it puts Democratic leaders in an awkward position," said an unnamed Senate GOP aide.
"We're having a conference call every morning. We have one again today with Secretary Mnuchin and the White House chief of staff to go over that, and that's the goal — is to come back and vote to move that," said Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming.
"We have a focused, targeted solution that we hope that the House would pass and the House would agree to," he added.
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