Stimulus 2: McConnell Says Senate ‘Not Going Anywhere’ in Final 48-Hour Stretch

stimulus 2 McConnell

Getty Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to work through the weekend until his chamber approves a coronavirus relief bill.

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor on Thursday, December 17, indicated that stimulus talks are “still underway” and are “making progress.” As pressure mounts to pass legislation before the funding deadline this weekend, he vowed to keep the Senate in session until a deal is “out the door.”

“The Senate is not going anywhere until we have Covid relief out the door,” McConnell said. “We’re staying right here.”

The Kentucky Republican emphasized that families “across the nation have waited far too long” for more pandemic assistance and urged his colleagues to move quicker than “routine Congress pace.”

“As I’ve been saying, families across the nation have waited far too long already for another significant dose of assistance,” McConnell expressed. “We must not slide into treating these talks like routine negotiations to be conducted at Congress’ routine pace.”

Lawmakers are scrambling to pass a nearly $1 trillion stimulus package ahead of the government funding deadline at midnight on Friday, December 18, according to Politico.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week that the House will also work through the holidays until a deal is reached.

The New York Times said “government funding will lapse Saturday and 12 million people will lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas,” should Congress fail to pass a spending bill by Friday.

Here’s what you need to know:

Legislators Are Working to Announce a $900 Billion Relief Package



Negotiators are working to finalize a $900 billion relief package, according to ABC News. The bill is expected to provide $300 billion for small businesses, vaccine distribution and education.

McConnell on Thursday, December 17, indicated that one-time, direct stimulus checks of up to $600 will also be included.

“At a particular urging of President Trump and [Treasury] Secretary [Steven] Mnuchin, who continue to be the champions of cash relief for American families, we’re discussing more direct impact payments for individuals plus the bonus for families with children,” he said from the Senate floor.

ABC News added that the check amounts will vary depending on a sliding scale of income levels.

The proposal seeks to extend the eviction moratorium, as well as reinstate “a federal unemployment insurance supplement, potentially at $300 per week,” the outlet continued.

Earlier This Week, Pelosi Expressed Optimism on Reaching a Deal


GettyHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

After a day of stimulus and government funding meetings, Pelosi expressed optimism as she was leaving the Capitol around midnight on December 15, The New York Times reported.

“We’re talking about going forward,” she told reporters, according to the newspaper. “Tomorrow, we’ll be back early, and we’ll be on schedule to get the job done.”

Pelosi earlier that day called into discussion McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to address two major sticking points between stimulus negotiators — local and state government aid and liability protections, according to CNBC. Until recently, Democrats have pushed for substantial state and local government funding, while Republicans sought employer liability shields, the outlet reported.

However, Forbes said both requests have been excluded from the new bill.

McConnell Said It’s ‘Highly Likely’ the Senate Will Have to Work Through the Weekend


GettySenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell on December 17 warned from the Senate floor it is “highly likely” senators will have to work through the weekend to finish the relief package and $1.4 trillion spending bill.

“We are going to stay right here, right here until we are finished,” he said. “Even if that means working through the weekend, which is highly likely.”

McConnell hinted that Congress will need to pass a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government open past Friday and allow negotiators more time.

“If we need to further extend the Friday funding deadline before final legislation can pass in both chambers,” he expressed. “I hope we will extend it for a very, very short window of time.”

“Our citizens cannot afford for us to get gaffed down in the back,” McConnell added.

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