Republicans plan Oct 19 vote on Covid stimulus bill as 'first order of business' and are 'daring Democrats to block it'

REPUBLICANS have planned an October 19 vote on a Covid stimulus bill as the "first order of business" and are "daring Democrats to block it."

The comments came after President Donald Trump tweeted: "STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!"

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On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hammered home the importance of voting on the bill as soon as possible.

"When the full Senate returns on October 19th, our first order of business will be voting again on targeted relief for American workers, including new funding for the PPP," he said.

US Capitol reporter Jamie Dupree added that the Republicans are "daring Democrats to block it."

Democrats have turned on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and urged her to "take the deal" after she rejected Trump's previous offer.

The backlash comes after Pelosi said the $1.8trillion package proposal from the White House was "insufficient" and still failed to address several key issues – despite it being the biggest package proposed so far.

Speaking to House Dems in a Saturday letter, Pelosi denounced Trump's proposal as "one step forward, two steps back."

She explained: "When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold, rather than agreeing on language prescribing how we honor our workers, crush the virus and put money in the pockets of workers.

"At this point, we still have disagreement on many priorities, and Democrats are awaiting language from the Administration on several provisions as the negotiations on the overall funding amount continue."

However, Democrats were unhappy with Pelosi's decision – with some taking to Twitter to voice their dismay.

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang tweeted shortly after.

He wrote: "Nancy Pelosi take this deal! Put politics aside people are hurting."

Ro Khanna, a Democratic Representative for California, tweeted: "People in need can’t wait until February. $1.8 trillion is significant & more than twice Obama stimulus. It will allow Biden to start with infrastructure.

"Obama won in 08 by doing the right thing on TARP instead of what was expedient. Make a deal & put the ball in McConnell court.

He posted his comment in response to a tweet shared by Dan Pfeiffer, one of the co-hosts of Pod Save America, a progressive political podcast.

"While there are potential risks, Democrats should aggressively pursue a COVID Relief deal with Trump," Pfeiffer wrote, alongside a link to his political strategy newsletter.

"It's the right thing to do, but the politics can also work in our favor."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of State Mark Meadows told lawmakers in a letter on Sunday that talks would continue with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer Pelosi to attempt to reach an agreement.

Their letter tried to push Congress to "immediately vote" to allow for remaining Paycheck Protection Program funds to be used.

Mnuchin and Meadows wrote: "The all or nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people."

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