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Senate GOP COVID Relief Plan Heads for Procedural Vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks after meeting with Senate Republicans, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The new GOP COVID Relief Plan isn't gaining traction among Senate Democrats. But that's not stopping Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from bringing it up for a vote this week.

Two days after McConnell announced the half-billion-dollar plan, it heads to a procedural vote Thursday. The plan includes things like school aid, new money for vaccines, and a second round of the paycheck protection program for smaller businesses.  

"Senators will not be voting whether this targeted package satisfies every one of their hopes and dreams," McConnell said. "That's not what we will do in this chamber. We vote on whether to make laws, whether to forge a compromise, whether it will do a lot of good for the country, and keep arguing over the remaining differences later." 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer insists the bill has gone from bad to worse.

"So now, Republicans are going to cut their original, inadequate, $1 trillion bill in half in a desperate attempt to find the lowest common denominator among Republicans. As the pain, the economic pain, for millions of Americans advances, Senate Republicans are actually moving backward," Schumer said. 

The bill does not contain another round of $1,200 direct payments or the $300 weekly jobless benefit that would expire right after Christmas. 

Sen. Rand Paul (R_KY) says he will oppose the bill because it piles on debt. It's a sign of trouble the McConnell faces in crafting a bill his own party will support.

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