“There is a good chance that they will feel the pressure when they see that the Democrats do not agree with this emaciated bill that leaves out so much. The pressure will increase on them,” Schumer told New Day on Wednesday John Berman from CNN.
Schumer’s comments come as the reduced Republican Senate bill is unlikely to get rid of a Democratic filibuster this week, but the chances of hitting a deal soon that will help struggling Americans amid the pandemic are still slim.
He also criticized the GOP plan not to rule out funds for food aid for children, money for families displaced from their homes, relief for the travel industry and money for broadband in rural areas.
“Our bill meets the needs of the American people. Your bill meets the needs of some ideologues who don’t want to vote for anything but feel public pressure to go down.” Schumer told CNN slapping the upcoming vote on the GOP measure as a “cynical act” because McConnell knows it will not be successful.
“The crisis and pain of the American people in the pandemic is getting bigger, and Republicans are thinking smaller and smaller,” Schumer said. “And the reason is very simple: there are 20 Republicans in the Senate who don’t want money, so McConnell, in a very cynical exercise, had to put something together that checked the box but left so much out.”
McConnell told reporters Wednesday that the upcoming vote on the GOP bill was a decision for Senators to “do something” or “do nothing”.
“Democratic leaders know that this simple choice will put their partisan antics in the spotlight,” said the Kentucky Republican. “You know this vote will expose your disability.”
He also accused Democratic leaders of not wanting any bipartisan relief for American families before the November election.
Schumer and House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi have called for $ 2.2 trillion for a new incentive, urging the White House and Republicans to meet them halfway. But it’s a price tag that the White House and McConnell turned down. In July, McConnell tabled a $ 1 trillion stimulus bill but never put it to a vote.
The new abridged Republican bill unveiled this week offers a $ 300 year-end unemployment benefit and new small business relief. The bill also provides a $ 10 billion loan to the U.S. Postal Service and includes liability protection for employers in coronavirus lawsuits.
The bill provides two years of parenting tax credits to cover home and home tuition costs, a provision McConnell added at the request of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
Republican leaders hope to have 51 votes for the bill in their conference to show an election year contrast with the Democrats, despite the high likelihood that the move will fail to clear the 60 votes required to break a Democratic filibuster becomes.
Cruz told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday that he expects to vote for McConnell’s “more targeted relief bill”.
Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, who is a vulnerable Republican in the election, announced in a press release Tuesday that he would support McConnell’s move.
GOP Senator Rand Paul, the other Senator from Kentucky, told CNN’s Manu Raju on Tuesday that he was a “no” to the bill. Paul was the only Senator to vote against the first stimulus package passed in March.
CNN’s Manu Raju, Ted Barrett and Ali Main contributed to this report.