Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the Senate will vote on a second coronavirus relief package as soon as this week.
McConnell said the Senate will take a “targeted approach, focused on some of the very most urgent healthcare, education, and economic issues.” However, he did not get into specifics on what the legislation would include.
CNBC reported last month Republicans were considering a $500 billion relief package addressing enhanced unemployment insurance, new small business loans, school funding, and money for Coronavirus testing, treatment, and vaccines.
The Senate bill is unlikely to get the 60 votes to pass the Senate due to infighting over spending too much and is all but guaranteed to fail in the House due to a lack of spending.
In a joint statement Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-NY) said, “Senate Republicans appear dead-set on another bill which doesn’t come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere.”
“Democrats want to work on bipartisan legislation that will meet the urgent needs of the American people but Republicans continue to move in the wrong direction,” they added later in the statement.
Republicans, the Trump Administration, and Democrats have been at an impasse over the amount of the next coronavirus relief package. Democrats have been willing to come down by $1 billion on their $3 trillion relief package, which the House passed in May. Republicans, however, have not agreed to go higher than $1.3 trillion on their relief package.
Meanwhile Americans continue to wait around unemployed, poor, sick, and dying. Congress has watched the $600 per week extra jobless benefit, a federal moratorium on evictions, and the window to apply for Paycheck Protection Program small business loans all lapse over the summer.
The Trump Administration did extend the eviction moratorium through 2020.
Republicans did consider reinstating the federal unemployment benefit at a reduced rate of $300 to $400 per week as part of their proposal. Pelosi and Schumer criticized the legislation for not including any relief for state and local governments, money for rental and mortgage assistance, emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service, or additional food aid.
Democrats have been fighting for more than $900 billion in new aid for states and municipalities, some of which will have to cut services if they don’t receive more assistance. The White House has offered no more than $150 billion in new money believing cities and states run by Democrats are using the funds to cover for financial mismanagement before the pandemic.
The bipartisan National Governors Association has asked for at least $500 billion in relief.
One of the biggest issues toward another relief package have been Republicans. While most GOP senators now acknowledge the need for another relief bill, some have argued against spending any more federal money at all to combat the pandemic.