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Stimulus Vote to Test Republican Unity Under Election Pressures

  • Vulnerable Republicans’ ideas left out of scaled-down bill
  • Democrats face McConnell charge of ‘stonewalling’ virus relief
Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate Floor in Washington D.C., on Sept. 8.
Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate Floor in Washington D.C., on Sept. 8.Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg
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Senate leaders will be trying to hold their parties together for a vote Thursday to advance a slimmed-down stimulus bill that Democrats have already rejected, with both sides jockeying for advantage in public perceptions two months before the election.

A far bigger task looms for Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who crafted a White House-backed proposal that may not go far enough to help vulnerable incumbents in his caucus. That was the price of securing the votes of fiscal hawks worried about adding to a deficit already forecast at $3.3 trillion this year.