Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is criticizing the Senate’s decision to vote on a targeted coronavirus relief bill for small businesses, despite calls from the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to aim higher.
Schumer expressed on a Sunday, October 18, call with reporters that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s push to vote on two stimulus measures this week is a “stunt,” according to The Hill.
“It’s a stunt by Senator McConnell,” the minority leader said, the outlet continued.
McConnell announced on October 17 that a standalone vote for additional Paycheck Protection Program funds, which offer loans to small businesses struggling to stay open during the pandemic, will take place on Tuesday, October 20. The main relief bill, roughly $500 billion, will be voted on the following day, McConnell continued.
Schumer described McConnell’s larger measure as “inadequate, just up and down the line” and “a sham,” The Hill disclosed.
It’s “not gonna bring any relief to the American people,” the minority leader said, the outlet continued.
After months of stalled negotiations, Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are now discussing a package in the ball park of $1.8 trillion to $2.2 trillion, including extended unemployment benefits and another round of stimulus checks.
McConnell, on the other hand, says the administration’s $1.8 trillion offer to Pelosi is “much higher” than what he can sell to his members, according to CNN.
Here’s what you need to know:
Schumer Says McConnel Was ‘Tied in a Knot,’ Citing ‘Divisions in His Own Caucus,’ According to the Hill
McConnell scheduled the stimulus votes because he was “tied in a knot” over the “divisions in his own caucus,” Schumer continued during the October 18 call, according to The Hill.
He blamed McConnell and Senate Republicans as the “No. 1 reason there’s no agreement,” citing their separation from Trump’s stimulus desires for a multi-trillion dollar package.
Trump Will Lobby McConnel ‘Should an Agreement Be Reached,’ Mnuchin Says
On October 15, Mnuchin expressed to Pelosi that the president would “weigh in” with the Senate majority leader “should an agreement be reached,” Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill tweeted.
“The Speaker also raised Leader McConnell’s comments today about not being willing to put a comprehensive package on the Senate floor,” Hammill tweeted. “The Secretary indicated that the President would weigh in with Leader McConnell should an agreement be reached.”
Trump echoed those sentiments three days later during an interview with Charles Benson of WTMJ4 Milwaukee. The president said he is on board with passing another broad-based package before Election Day — and would have no issue addressing any Republicans opposing the measure.
“I will take care of that problem in two minutes,” Trump said, slighting McConnell’s push for targeted assistance.