GOP under mounting pressure to strike virus deal quickly

Republican lawmakers faced with slipping poll numbers and economic indicators acknowledge they are under pressure to reach a quick deal with Democrats on a new coronavirus package.

Armed with more leverage, Democrats will likely not agree to any deal unless it is closer to the $3.4 trillion bill the House passed in May. Republican officials don’t see any advantages to drawing the battle out.

GOP senators say there are several significant factors that weigh in favor of reaching a deal soon. They include the expiration of the $600-a-week federal enhancement to state unemployment benefits, the expiration of the federal moratorium on evictions, the recent wave of new coronavirus infections in Sun Belt and Midwestern states, the fast-approaching start of the school year, and a wave of potential small-business closures predicted for the weeks ahead.

“It has to be timely,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) of the timeline for passing a measure.

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