The wars of words between Republicans and Democrats before the 2020 presidential election have continued after it. Now the Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, is calling Democrats’ stimulus relief plan “unserious.”
“House Democrats’ so-called ‘HEROES Act’ is so unserious that it was condemned by the Speaker’s own moderate Democrats the instant she put it out,” he tweeted. “Huge tax cuts for rich people in blue states, but no second round of the Paycheck Protection Program? Those are their priorities?”
The networks have called the election for former Vice President Joe Biden, but that won’t matter to Democrats’ relief efforts if Republicans cling to their narrow lead in the U.S. Senate. That’s because the U.S. Constitution gives funding authority to Congress, not the White House.
Extra unemployment benefits and a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks are those things hanging in the balance, along with Democrats’ request for state and local aid to help governmental entities recover from the pandemic. The difference center around the latter, and the overall pricetag on a stimulus relief plan, with Democrats supporting a plan around $2.2 trillion, and McConnell saying his members won’t support more than $500 million, according to Fox Business.
Here’s what you need to know:
McConnell Accused Democrats of Having an ‘Unrelated Wish List’
House Democrats’ so-called “HEROES Act” is so unserious that it was condemned by the Speaker's own moderate Democrats the instant she put it out.
Huge tax cuts for rich people in blue states, but no second round of the Paycheck Protection Program? Those are their priorities?
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) November 17, 2020
McConnell took to his Twitter page on November 17 to take swipes at Democrats. “For months, Republicans have tried to make bipartisan progress on huge areas of COVID relief where there’s no disagreement,” he wrote. “Vaccine distribution funds. Another round of the PPP for hard-hit small businesses. But Democrats blocked it all over their unrelated liberal wish-list.”
He wrote, “Republicans have tried for weeks to pass another targeted rescue package. It would send hundreds of billions of dollars to schools, unemployment aid, another round of the job-saving PPP, and healthcare. Democrats repeatedly blocked it all. Let’s hope they let us make law soon.”
Continued McConnell, “Another Democrat demand that’s blocked bipartisan aid: The fixation on a massive slush fund for state & city govt’s, unlinked from COVID need. Some states are taking in more tax revenue this fall than they did before the pandemic. It’s struggling families who need urgent help.”
Top Democrats in Congress Put the Blame on Republicans
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer put the blame at the feet of Republicans. They wrote a letter to McConnell, urging him to act.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession will not end without our help,” it reads. “It is essential that this bill have sufficient funding and delivers meaningful relief to the many Americans who are suffering. For the sake of the country, we ask that you come to the table and work with us to produce an agreement that meets America’s needs in this critical time.”
They added: “Earlier this year during negotiations with Secretary Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Meadows, we agreed to compromise on a relief package and lowered our request by $1.2 trillion. Since that time, you have lowered your proposal from $1 trillion to $500 billion, despite the consensus from economists and experts that the country requires a much larger injection of aid. Meaningful relief requires aid to schools, small businesses, and individuals where the virus has torn through communities and left many stranded without help.”
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