Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he'll schedule a vote on a coronavirus relief bill as the chamber's "first order of business" after returning to Washington, D.C., next week.
His promise to move forward on a stimulus package comes after months of failed talks between House Democrats and White House negotiators on a deal.
"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. Unless Democrats block this aid for workers, we will have time to pass it before we proceed as planned to the pending Supreme Court nomination as soon as it is reported by the judiciary committee," McConnell said in a statement.
Republicans -- including President Donald Trump -- have called for a "skinny" package that includes basic items both sides can agree upon, such as an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program.
House Democrats have backed their so-called HEROES Act, originally passed in May with a $3 trillion price tag. In September, the chamber passed a slimmed-down bill costing $2.2 trillion.
Republicans, meanwhile, were initially reluctant to go above $1 trillion for the latest round of aid, but Trump proposed a $1.8 trillion plan this weekend.
McConnell said "there's no excuse for Democrats to keep blocking job-saving funding."
"Democrats have spent months blocking policies they do not even oppose. They say anything short of their multi-trillion-dollar wish list, jammed with non-COVID-related demands, is 'piecemeal' and not worth doing," McConnell said.