Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that the Senate would vote on a "targeted" coronavirus stimulus relief bill when the chamber returns to session next week. In a statement, the Kentucky Republican said that a vote would be held on Oct. 19. McConnell had adjourned the Senate until that date after President Donald Trump and three GOP senators tested positive for the coronavirus.
McConnell said in his statement that the Senate would take up the legislation after the full chamber returns on Monday. He said that "unless Democrats block this aid for workers, we will have time to pass it before we proceed as planned to the pending Supreme Court nomination as soon as the Judiciary Committee reports it." On Oct. 6, the president had instructed McConnell in a tweet to shift focus away from additional stimulus relief "to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court." Trump has since indicated that he is still interested in relief measures.
Calling the plan "targeted relief for American workers," he explained that the bill would include "new funding" for the Paycheck Protection Program, which he called "a popular program that has saved tens of millions of American jobs." He called funding for the program "job-saving," adding that the program has since "become yet another casualty of Democrats' all-or-nothing obstruction."
According to CNBC, McConnell, while speaking at an event in his home state, explained that this new bill would also include money for schools, and unemployment insurance boost, and liability protections for businesses. It is unclear what the price tag of this bill will be or if it will include an additional round of stimulus payments. Although stimulus checks have gained bipartisan support and overwhelming approval from American voters, a slimmed-down relief package introduced by Senate Republicans last month did not include a provision for the distribution of checks. Democrats ultimately blocked that package, something McConnell expressed upset within his Tuesday statement.
"Last month, 52 Senate Republicans voted to pass hundreds of billions more dollars for priorities like testing, healthcare, safe schools, unemployment benefits, and economic support… Republicans had the votes to pass all this relief. But Senate Democrats chose to filibuster it dead," he said. "...The American people need Democrats to stop blocking bipartisan funding and let us replenish the PPP before more Americans lose their jobs needlessly."