Senate GOP's virus relief bill expected to fall in vote
WASHINGTON (AP) — A GOP coronavirus relief package faces dire prospects in a Senate test vote, and negotiators involved in recent efforts to strike a deal that could pass before the November election say they see little reason for hope.
Instead, it's looking increasingly likely that all Congress will do before the election is pass legislation that would avoid a federal shutdown as lawmakers head home to campaign.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he was “optimistic” that Republicans would deliver strong support for the GOP's $500 billion slimmed-down COVID-19 rescue package in Thursday's procedural vote, but a Democratic filibuster is assured. Democrats have indicated they will shelve the Republican measure as insufficient, leaving lawmakers at an impasse.
There’s no indication yet that bipartisan talks that crumbled last month will restart.
“Unless something really broke through, it’s not going to happen,” said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The stalemate is politically risky for all sides heading into the fall election, which will decide not only the presidency, but also control of Congress.
While nationwide coronavirus cases appear to be at a plateau, there is still widespread economic hardship and social unease in homes, schools and businesses affected by closures. Experts warn that infections are expected to spike again if Americans fail to abide by public health guidelines for mask-wearing and social distancing, especially amid colder weather and flu season.
McConnell said Democrats have not backed off what he said were unreasonable demands. He accused Democrats of acting as though it is to their political advantage to deny Republicans and President Donald Trump a victory on the...
You Might Like
Related videos from verified sources
Related news from verified sources