McConnell tees up House Puerto Rico bill
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democratic field narrows with Inslee exit McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster MORE (R-Ky.) is teeing up a vote on the House-passed Puerto Rico bill ahead of a looming end-of-the-month deadline. 

The Senate Republican leader lined up a procedural vote on the debt legislation on Monday evening. Absent a deal, the Senate will take its first vote on the legislation as early as Wednesday. 


If McConnell can get every GOP senator to support the Puerto Rico bill, he will still need at least six Democrats to agree to move forward to get the House measure over the initial procedural hurdle. 

The move comes after Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonAl Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 Poll: Six Democrats lead Trump in Florida match-ups MORE (D-Fla.) urged his colleagues to support the legislation, even if Democrats aren't allowed to change it. 

"This legislation that the House has crafted is certainly not the bill that I would have crafted, but it's the only bill that we have before us that could get by the Tea Party element in the House," he said from the Senate floor. "We're out of time. We need to act, and this bill is the only bill moving." 

But many of Nelson's Democratic colleagues said on Monday evening that they were still looking at potential changes to the legislation, though they didn't rule out supporting the bill.

Asked if he had made a decision, Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineA lesson of the Trump, Tlaib, Omar, Netanyahu affair Warren's pledge to avoid first nuclear strike sparks intense pushback Almost three-quarters say minimum age to buy tobacco should be 21: Gallup MORE (D-Va.) said, “We're still working on it. You know, something needs to be done. We would really love some amendments on key issues." 

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinAmerica is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction Financial aid fraud is wrong — but overcorrection could hurt more students Democrats denounce Trump's attack on Cummings: 'These are not the words of a patriot' MORE (D-Md.) echoed Kaine's comments, adding that while any changes would force the measure to bounce back to the House, "I think the House can come back. As I understand it's legally permissible to do." 

Democrats have homed in on a provision that would allow Puerto Rico to avoid paying minimum wage to some federal workers and the composition of a federal oversight board as two key areas of change.

It's unclear if McConnell will be able to get the support of every GOP senator to help overcome Wednesday's hurdle. 

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges MORE (R-Texas) told reporters Monday he thinks they'll be able to win over a majority of Republicans but noted, ”We're still talking to some."

If senators run out the procedural clock, that could schedule final passage for Thursday, hours ahead of the territory's deadline to make a roughly $2 billion debt payment.