By Katanga Johnson and David Shepardson
WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate will vote on a $ 300 billion Upper House Republican coronavirus relief bill on Wednesday, which is well below the estimated $ 2 trillion. demanded by the Democrats.
The bill, dubbed a “thin” relief package because of its reduced funding, was already rejected by Democrats in September and is expected to fail again.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Saturday that the vote would follow an independent vote on additional funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were scheduled to speak Saturday afternoon before Mnuchin left on a trip to the Middle East.
Pelosi told MSNBC on Friday that she and Mnuchin were “making progress” in their talks, but said there were still significant areas of disagreement.
On October 10, Mnuchin launched a $ 1.8 trillion economic stimulus proposal in talks with Pelosi, but many Senate Republicans have resisted such a large package.
Time is running out before the November 3 presidential election to reach an agreement on a new coronavirus aid package.
“These are just some of the urgent needs that Washington should immediately meet as discussions continue on the rest,” McConnell said.
(Reporting by Katanga Johnson, Additional reporting by David Shepardson, Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías)