Senator Lindsey Graham, speaking Thursday on the Senate floor, accused Democrats of overreaching in their demands for trillions of dollars in new spending and said the bill would need “reinforcements” from Republicans before the chamber could vote on it.
Mr. Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said he was in “furious, energized” shape to advance a so-called “balanced” stimulus proposal, that would give small businesses and the military the bulk of the new federal dollars while spending billions of dollars to fight Zika, better care for returning veterans and other less-pressing issues.
“It’s time for Democrats to level with the American people,” he said. “This isn’t just a Republican issue. This is an American issue.”
Those remarks came after the Senate and House passed separate federal spending bills last week that both call for nearly $12 billion in spending over the next six months to assist Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As the Senate moved to open the floor Thursday afternoon, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, a Utah Republican, said he hoped to vote on a package of defense spending and relief for the battered Virgin Islands.
It appeared Mr. Hatch and others were aiming for a late afternoon vote.
Here are the latest developments on a Senate package providing billions in new spending while trying to address some of the long-standing hurdles for a broader stimulus: