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McConnell sets first coronavirus stimulus package vote for Sunday

McConnell sets first coronavirus stimulus package vote for Sunday
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden to meet Monday with bipartisan lawmakers about infrastructure 100 business executives discuss how to combat new voting rules: report Arkansas governor says 'divisive' Trump attacks on GOP officials are 'unhelpful' MORE (R-Ky.) has set up the first vote related to a mammoth stimulus package over the coronavirus for Sunday.

McConnell on Friday teed up a “shell” bill — essentially a place holder for the agreement, if one is reached.

“I just filed cloture on the motion to proceed to a shell that will serve as the vehicle. ... Member-level discussion is going on as we speak. The goal is to reach agreements on each of the four components of the legislation by the end of the day,” he said.

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Under Senate rules, the earliest the first procedural vote could happen is Sunday.

McConnell’s decision to tee up the spending package comes as senators, their staff and top administration officials are still behind closed doors trying to reach an agreement.

The negotiations are focused on four groups: health care, small business, tax and impacted industries like airlines.

The package is expected to cost approximately $1 trillion, though GOP senators didn’t rule out that the number could climb as they negotiate with Democrats.

The Senate Republicans' plan would have provided $300 billion for small businesses and $1,200 in a one-time check for individuals who made up to $75,000.

As of Friday afternoon, Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSunday shows - Infrastructure dominates GOP senator dismisses Trump-McConnell feud Thune: 'There are Republicans who would vote' for smaller infrastructure package MORE (R-S.D.) said two main sticking points remained: a debate over whether or not to bolster unemployment insurance and funding for hospitals.