By Andy Sullivan and David Morgan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With cases reported in all 50 U.S. states, lawmakers in Washington are scrambling to limit the economic damage from the coronavirus. To do so, they must overcome another plague: partisan gridlock.
The Republican-controlled Senate is due to take up a multi-billion dollar aid package on Wednesday that bolsters safety-net programs and provides free testing for the respiratory disease. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed the package by an overwhelming bipartisan margin on Saturday.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is urging his colleagues to approve it quickly, despite their qualms.
“Gag and vote for it,” he said at a Tuesday news conference.
That may be difficult for some Senate Republicans, who worry that its sick-leave provisions could heap costs on small businesses. Others have objected that it does not cover those who work at corporations that employ…