McConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus

McConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus
© Bonnie Cash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHawley warns Schumer to steer clear of Catholic-based criticisms of Barrett Senate GOP set to vote on Trump's Supreme Court pick before election Harris slams Trump's Supreme Court pick as an attempt to 'destroy the Affordable Care Act' MORE (R-Ky.) is pushing an aggressive schedule, asking Republican and Democratic negotiators who met Friday morning in the Hart Senate Office Building to reach an agreement in principle on a $1 trillion stimulus package by the end of the day.

“I’ve tasked these bipartisan teams to reach an agreement by the end of the day today, midnight,” the GOP leader told reporters after convening the first round of bipartisan talks.

McConnell said he hopes to draft the legislation on Saturday and begin moving immediately to set up the procedure for a Monday vote on the bill, which would then need to go to the House before reaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE’s desk.

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“We’ll need Saturday to be drafting what we can agree to, and because of the procedural hurdles you have to jump through in the Senate, tomorrow I’ll need to file cloture on the motion to proceed to a shell,” McConnell told reporters.

It’s an ambitious timeline, as Democrats have already panned the Senate GOP plan released Thursday as too focused on business and not doing enough to help workers. It does not include the massive expansion of unemployment benefits that Democrats have called for.

“We are beginning to review Sen. McConnell’s proposal and on first reading, it is not at all pro-worker and instead puts corporations way ahead of workers,” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Will Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act Will Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement issued Thursday evening.

White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland emphasized the pressure on bipartisan negotiators to reach a deal quickly.

“We’re going to spend the next several hours working to drive a bipartisan agreement,” he told reporters outside the meeting room. “The need for urgency has been pressed repeatedly by the president and [Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinCentrist Democrats got their COVID bill, now they want a vote The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline MORE] and we’re going to work very hard to be incredibly nimble, quite quick — again so that we’re in a position for results and relief to be delivered to the American people as fast as possible.”

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Ueland said the White House is “very supportive” of the Senate GOP package but added the administration wants “clarification” and “refinement” on several points in the plan.

The Republican and Democratic negotiators broke into four groups to work on the major components of the GOP stimulus plan: rebates and tax breaks to help the broader economy, a rescue package for small businesses, health care issues and targeted relief for the industries hardest hit by the crisis. 

The GOP negotiators are Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderPelosi urges early voting to counter GOP's high court gambit: 'There has to be a price to pay' Graham: GOP has votes to confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy MORE (Tenn.), Banking Committee Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoBottom line Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Top GOP senator urges agencies to protect renters, banks amid coronavirus aid negotiations MORE (Idaho), Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power The Hill's 12:30 Report: Ginsburg lies in repose Top GOP senators say Hunter Biden's work 'cast a shadow' over Obama Ukraine policy MORE (Iowa), Commerce Committee Chairman Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Key Democrat opposes GOP Section 230 subpoena for Facebook, Twitter, Google MORE (Miss.), Small Business Committee Chairman Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election GOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power McConnell pushes back on Trump: 'There will be an orderly transition' MORE (Fla.), Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP set to vote on Trump's Supreme Court pick before election Democratic senator to party: 'A little message discipline wouldn't kill us' Poll: 57 percent of Americans think next president, Senate should fill Ginsburg vacancy MORE (Maine), Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMcConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight Romney undecided on authorizing subpoenas for GOP Obama-era probes Congress needs to prioritize government digital service delivery MORE (Ohio) and Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyAppeals court rules NSA's bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy MORE (Pa.).

The Democratic negotiators are Sens. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds Democrats push to limit transfer of military-grade gear to police When 'Buy American' and common sense collide MORE (R.I.), the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee; Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service MORE (Ore.), the ranking member on the Finance Committee; Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Key Democrat opposes GOP Section 230 subpoena for Facebook, Twitter, Google Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg acknowledges failure to take down Kenosha military group despite warnings | Election officials push back against concerns over mail-in voting, drop boxes MORE (Wash.), the ranking member on the Commerce Committee; Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Kasie Hunt to host lead-in show for MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report MORE (N.J.), the ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee; Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinPelosi hopeful COVID-19 relief talks resume 'soon' Congress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out PPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  MORE (Md.), the ranking member on the Small Business Committee, Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump rollbacks could add 1.8 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over 15 years: analysis | Intensifying natural disasters do little to move needle on climate efforts | Experts warn wildfire smoke could worsen COVID-19 GAO report finds brokers offered false info on coverage for pre-existing conditions MORE (Mich.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSenate Democrats introduce bill to sanction Russians over Taliban bounties Trump-backed candidate wins NH GOP Senate primary to take on Shaheen Democratic senator urges Trump to respond to Russian aggression MORE (N.H.), Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinHawley warns Schumer to steer clear of Catholic-based criticisms of Barrett Two Judiciary Democrats say they will not meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election MORE (Ill.) and Schumer.