McConnell to tee up third coronavirus deal Friday

McConnell to tee up third coronavirus deal Friday
© Bonnie Cash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump vows to campaign against Murkowski after senator's criticism Senate advances conservation fund bill, House introduces companion Paul clashes with Booker, Harris over anti-lynching bill MORE (R-Ky.) will move to set up a forthcoming third coronavirus package on Friday.

The move is largely a time-saving measure that would help keep the chamber on schedule to vote on a mammoth stimulus deal, if one is reached, early next week. 

“We expect to have an agreement by the end today, as I said earlier this morning. Tomorrow we’ll be drafting it,” he told reporters after a closed-door caucus lunch. “I will in all likelihood file cloture on the motion to proceed today instead of tomorrow.”

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McConnell would likely tee up a “shell” bill, which the text of the stimulus package would be added into once its drafted.

That would set up an initial procedural vote on Sunday. 

The push to move quickly comes as senators, their staffers and administration officials including Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: BIO's Michelle McMurry-Heath says 400 projects started in 16 weeks in biotech firms to fight virus, pandemic unemployment total tops 43 million IRS faces obstacles with remaining stimulus checks On The Money: GOP turning against new round of ,200 rebate checks | Millions of Americans frustrated by delayed unemployment checks | Senate votes to give coronavirus relief program more flexibility MORE have been meeting behind closed doors to try to negotiate an agreement on the package, which is expected to be at least $1 trillion. 

McConnell wants to have a deal in principle by the end of Friday. 

Staff and senators would then spend the weekend drafting and ironing out bill text.