McConnell says he would give Trump-backed coronavirus deal a vote in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden's climate plans can cut emissions and also be good politics Acting Defense secretary makes surprise trip to Somalia As Biden administration ramps up, Trump legal effort drags on MORE (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that if the White House and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) reach a deal on coronavirus relief he would bring the agreement up for a vote on the Senate floor.

McConnell had previously stopped short of explicitly saying an agreement would get a vote amid widespread opposition from Senate Republicans to a package with a large price tag.

"If a presidentially supported bill clears the House at some point we’ll bring it to the floor," McConnell told reporters during a weekly press conference.


However, McConnell did not commit to a vote before the Nov. 3 election, which is roughly two weeks away.

The Senate is set to vote on another GOP coronavirus bill on Wednesday and then turn to Judge Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettCardinal Dolan hails Supreme Court decision on churches, COVID-19 Cuomo blames new conservative majority for high court's COVID-19 decision Supreme Court blocks New York coronavirus restrictions on houses of worship MORE's Supreme Court nomination.

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBiden's Treasury pick will have lengthy to-do list on taxes On The Money: Initial jobless claims rise for 2nd week | Dow dips below 30K | Mnuchin draws fire for COVID-19 relief move | Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach MORE are currently negotiating a coronavirus package between $1.8 trillion and $2.2 trillion, though Trump has signaled he was willing to go higher.

It is unclear if Senate Republicans would support a bill that size.


Asked if his members would support it, McConnell said: "We'd have to see what it was first."

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneRepublicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names MORE (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters on Monday evening that it would be "hard" to get 13 Republicans to support a $1.8 trillion coronavirus deal. If every Democrat voted for a bipartisan deal, 13 GOP senators would be needed to help get it over procedural hurdles.

“My guess is the leader is going to want to see some evidence that whatever is agreed upon has Republican support to try to convince Republicans over here to be for it,” he said.

“Their natural instinct depending on how big it is and what's in it is probably going to be to be against it,” Thune added.

But Trump and other administration officials have signaled that they believe that enough Senate Republicans will go along with a bipartisan deal, even as GOP senators lashed out in a call with Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship MORE earlier this month.


"Whether there is enough votes to get to the 60 vote threshold, that's up to Leader McConnell. He — he has agreed that he's willing to go ahead and put forth the bill. If we have a bipartisan agreement on the bill, he'll bring it to the floor and actually have vote. And — and yet, it's too early to tell," Meadows told reporters at the White House on Monday.

But GOP senators have been cool to supporting a deal on a bill larger than $1 trillion. The Senate will vote on Wednesday on a $500 billion GOP bill, less than a third of the $1.8 trillion offered by the White House.

"I think it's very unlikely that a number of that level would make it through the Senate, and I don't support something of that level," Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: GOP mulls its future after Trump Biden teams to meet with Trump administration agencies Paul Ryan calls for Trump to accept results: 'The election is over' MORE (R-Utah) told reporters Tuesday.

Asked if he could support a $1.8 trillion deal, Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordEthics experts ask Senate to investigate Graham's probe of mail-in voting The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Pfizer unveils detailed analysis of COVID-19 vaccine & next steps GOP senators congratulate Harris on Senate floor MORE (R-Okla.) said he would want to see the details but "I don't think it's needed at this point."